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 I have been told 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. The British Liver Trust hope to address this lack of information soon, but if there are any out there who would like to share their experiences, please reply to this post.