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What are the symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis?

Last modified: 11th May 2021
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What is Liver Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a process where the liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. It is a gradual process. The scar tissue affects the normal structure of liver and the regrowth of liver cells. This results in its decreased function. The scar tissue also affects how the blood flows within the liver. This leads to an increase in back pressure leading to a condition called portal hypertension. At this stage the patient is at high risk for life threatening bleeding.

Cirrhosis may take years to develop and can do so with out any symptoms until liver damage is very serious. In most cases over 80% of liver is damaged before symptoms appear. This damage is due to ongoing injury to the liver tissue caused by various factors such as:

  • Chronic viral infection
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Fatty liver and many others

Early-Stage Symptoms

  • Unusual tiredness
  • General weakness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Loss of sex drive, etc

Late-Stage Symptoms

As the liver condition gets worse and reaches the stage of Decompensated liver disease, the patient develops one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Vomiting blood
  • Dark, tarry-looking stools
  • A tendency to bleed or bruise more easily
  • Swollen legs (odema) or tummy (ascites – Water logging in abdomen)
  • Confusion
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