What Does Chronic Hepatitis C Do to the Liver?
Chronic hepatitis C can lead to scarring of the liver. Fibrosis (fye-BRO-sis) and cirrhosis are different levels of scarring that can occur.
Fibrosis is a scarring process that occurs as hepatitis C damages the liver. When the scarring spreads, the liver has a hard time working.
Cirrhosis occurs when most of the liver tissue has been replaced by scar tissue. This damage to the liver cannot be repaired.
Cirrhosis can result in:
- Problems with blood flow through the liver
- Swelling of the spleen (spl-EE-n)
- Problems with blood clotting
- Bleeding into your stomach and dark, tar-like stools
- Too much fluid in your belly, called ascites (uh-SY-teez)
- Buildup of waste products, which may cause confusion and changes in your sleep
- Buildup of bilirubin due to the liver working poorly and not removing it