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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Cirrhosis: Introduction

for Veterans and the Public

Introduction: What is this Handbook for? - Cirrhosis for Patients

YOU: This handbook is designed to help you understand cirrhosis and the complications of cirrhosis. We recommend that you read the handbook and ask your health care provider to explain topics you don’t understand.

FACTS: This handbook explains basic facts about the liver and a disease of the liver called cirrhosis (pronounced "sir-o-sis"). It can help you understand the causes and management of cirrhosis.

TOOL: You can use this handbook to talk with your provider about how to take better care of your damaged liver.

SUPPORT: You can use this handbook to feel more in control of your disease. Your family members and friends may read it to understand the challenges you face and to learn how they can help you.

ANSWERS: This handbook will answer your questions about common complications of cirrhosis and what can be done about them. It will also provide practical tips on how to keep your liver as healthy as possible, including things to do and things to avoid.

EMERGENCIES: This handbook gives you important information about the possible complications in cirrhosis that require immediate medical attention.

TREATMENT TRACKING: This handbook tells you what you should keep track of when you have cirrhosis, so you can actively participate in your health care.

RESOURCES: A list of the medical terms used in this handbook appears at the end. You may hear these words in discussions with your health care provider or when you read about cirrhosis in books, articles, or on the Internet. A list of information sources you can trust is also included.