How is cirrhosis treated?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Once you have cirrhosis, nothing can make the scar tissue go away completely. However, treating the cause will keep cirrhosis from getting worse. For example, if cirrhosis is due to alcoholic liver disease, the treatment is to completely stop drinking alcohol. If cirrhosis is caused by hepatitis C, then that disease may be treated with medication.

Your doctor will suggest treatment based on the cause of your cirrhosis and your symptoms. An early diagnosis and carefully following an appropriate treatment plan can help many people with cirrhosis. In very advanced cirrhosis, however, certain treatments may not be possible. In that situation, your doctors will work with you to prevent or manage the complications that cirrhosis can cause.

This answer is based on source information from The National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).

Treatment of cirrhosis is vital to prevent further liver damage and reduce the chance of complications. If cirrhosis is caused by hepatitis, anti-viral medication will be prescribed for viral hepatitis, and corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis. With proper nutrition, avoidance of certain toxins (such as alcohol and many pain medications), vitamin supplementation, and management of cirrhosis complications, further liver damage can often be delayed or stopped. In severe cases of cirrhosis, liver transplantation may be considered.
In all cases of cirrhosis, it is vital that people with cirrhosis tell their doctors about all drugs they are taking, including over-the-counter pain relievers, dietary supplements, and any alcohol they consume.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.