Bizarre side effect of liver disease leaves woman looking pregnant

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A TV show on British broadcaster BBC 3 has featured a woman whose years of binge drinking finally caught up with her and delivered cruel revenge in the form of a dying and diseased liver hidden within a grotesquely bloated abdomen.

The woman, identified only as Jo in the program, has told how her condition has made her look heavily pregnant.

Assuming she was with child, strangers in her town would ask her when the baby's due. But Jo's baby is actually a horribly scarred, cirrotic liver.

The swelling is caused by a buildup of fluids containing both waste and nutrients which her ruined liver can no longer process.

Now sober, Jo was once a champion drinker, often putting away three bottles of wine a day. Unknown to the now 35-year-old, the booze was poisoning her, slowly as her liver's healthy tissue became replaced with scar tissue.

She must now to go to the hospital every few weeks to have the fluid drained through a needle and hose. The disgusting procedure can take eight hours and yield as much as 23 liters.

Jo's liver cirrhosis is irreversible. All that can save her long-term is a liver transplant, and there's no guarantee she'll even survive that.

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