A slowly developing disease of the liver in which abnormal fibrous tissue and nodules replace normal tissue, interfering with blood flow and normal functions of the organ, including stomach and intestinal functions, hormone metabolism and effective removal of alcohol and drugs from the body.
The major cause of cirrhosis is long term alcoholism. Symptoms include nausea, wind (flatulence), light-coloured stools and stomach pain.
Treatment is by rest, a protein-rich diet and no alcohol. If untreated, liver and kidney failure and bleeding from the intestine can occur, leading to death.