(HealthDay News) -- Cirrhosis is the medical term used to describe the slow deterioration of the liver as a result of chronic injury to the organ.

The U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says cirrhosis causes scarring of the liver, which can impair its ability to:

  • Fight off infection.
  • Eliminate toxins and bacteria from the blood.
  • Process medications, hormones and nutrients from food.
  • Create the proteins that help the blood clot.
  • Make bile to help absorb fats, including cholesterol.