I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver 11 years ago at age 49, following physical and ultrasound examinations and endoscopy which revealed varices in my oesophagus, confirmed by liver biopsy.
I have never been a heavy drinker, nor suffered from Hepatitis or diabetes but have a history of low blood platelet count which suggests that some unknown auto-immune response may be connected with my disease. Therefore, I fall into the category of ‘cryptogenic’ (i.e. unknown cause) which represents about 10% of those with liver disease.
The lack of information for those with cryptogenic liver disease is woeful and it has only been through my persistent questioning of my consultant that I have learnt about it. Those who have attributable cause of their condition can often take specific measures that will either eliminate or stabilise their symptoms: cryptogenic sufferers do not have this option available to them.
Given the extent of liver disease, cryptogenics represent a significant number of people – if there are any out there who would like to share their experiences, please reply to this post.