Liver Symptoms – Cirrhosis

cirrhosis of the liver symptoms

Cirrhosis is for the most part, a permanent disease of the liver. The liver cells have been significantly damaged thus preventing  this crucial organ from operating to its fullest capacity. If the cause is not diagnosed, the liver slowly loses its capability to execute its usual functions. This is known as failure of the liver, often considered the end stage disease .

Cirrhosis of the liver symptoms will depend on how much damage has happened to the liver. In the later stages there might be no direct indications at all and the illness could be found as an outcome of investigation of  another disease.

Early Liver Symptoms

 The lesser early symptoms may present as:

  • lack of energy
  • tiredness
  • weight loss
  • loss of hunger
  • nausea
  •  weakness may increase
  • a decrease in urine production
  • pain in the stomach
  • bleeding gums
  • nosebleeds
  • fever
  • breast enlargement in men
  • overall body inflammation
  • indigestion
  • clay-colored stools.

Cirrhosis of the Liver Symptoms

The liver plays a crucial role  in the manufacture and regulation  of testosterone and estrogen hormones. If excess hormones are detected , the liver will eliminate them. As you can see, a struggling liver will lead to a hormonal imbalance  which will lead to many hormonal conditions such as reproductive issues, menopausal symptom severity, thyroid, diabetes and more.There may  be  a sudden growth in the size of mens  breasts and decrease of the testes in males.

More Cirrhosis of the liver Symptoms:

liver symptoms cirrhosis of the liver symptomsSpider Angiomata-These are spidery capillary vessels cluster around a central arteriole and can be found on the body,face and arms. This irregularity is most  commonly named a spider  naevi. An increase in  number and size of spider angioma are usually associated with more severe case of liver cirrhosis. The face may become red.The liver helps to regulate hormones and these spider naevus appear when there is an increase in the hormone estradiol.Approximately a third of patients will develop Spider Angiomata

Ascites – Liver Symptoms

Abdominal distension-ascites .Fluid retention in the abdominal cavity is a  frequent indication at some point in the later stages of cirrhosis. This can lead to breathing difficulties because of pressure on the lungs and the patient can look heavily pregnant. There may be a fluid buildup in the legs as well.A significant function of the liver is to eliminate the excess fluid in the body via the kidneys and when liver function decreases, this is when fluid collects in the abdomen and/or in the legs.

Easy bruising and blood losses happen as an outcome of irregular blood vessels and belated clotting because the liver cannot create sufficient clotting proteins.

Jaundice is another symptom. This  turns  the skin yellow and also the whites of the eyes due to the failure of the liver to eliminate a substance known as bilirubin.  Bilirubin is a brownish yellow substance found within  bile. The liver breaks down old red blood cells and the bi product is bile. The liver is the only organ to make bile. Bilirubin is  removed from the body through the stool (feces) and gives stool its normal brown color.

In the later stages, when the liver is very compromised, any of the following indications may arise.

  • Speckled mottling of the palm due to the resultant alteration of sex hormone metabolism.
  • Paired, separated bands visible on the nails due to low albumin production.
  • Painful proliferative periostitis of long bones.
  • Thickening of palmar fascia, accompanied by flexion deformities due to collagen deposition and fibroblastic proliferation.
  • Growth of  breast tissue in males due to increased estradiol.
  • Impotence, loss of sexual drive and testicular atrophy due to suppression of pituitary function.
  • Enlarged / shrunken liver size.Increase in spleen size due to portal hypertension.
  • Vascular lesions from increased estriol hormones
  • Fluid retention in peritoneal cavity.
  • Blood from the portal venous system leaks into the umbilical vein.
  • Venous hum in epigastric region.
  • Musty breath odor due to dimethyl sulfide increase.
  • Development of jaundice due to increased bilirubin.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Anorexia /weight loss
  • White nail plate with distal red due to hypoalbuminemia.

Interestingly, people with cirrhosis are  at an increased risk of developing  liver cancer, which usually manifests as hepatocellular carcinoma.




Liver cirrhosis is one of the common disease occurrences of this generation. All these non-stop partying, drinking, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are causing damage to our liver. Some of the most common causes of the disease are excessive or chronic abuse of alcoholic beverages, having Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, and fatty liver. There are some important things you should take note of on how to prevent cirrhosis of the liver, but first, you need to know certain aspects of the disease.

Cirrhosis of the liver is a slow-progressing disease caused by scar or keloid tissue replacing the healthy liver tissue. Damages or tears brought about by the causing factors mentioned above result in natural self-healing. The result is the presence of scar tissue. Scar tissue does not contribute anything to the overall work or function of the liver, on the other hand, it causes reduced or poor blood circulation. The scar tissue blocks the route of the blood, thus, slowing the distribution process of hormones, drugs, nutrients and removal of bodily wastes or toxins.

People with the disease at early stages show no visible signs and symptoms. In the late phases of the illness, a person will exhibit definite signs where some of which may or may not be present in others. Cases vary and depend if a person has a pre-existing illness or complication which could mimic, mask, or exacerbate symptoms. Diagnosis and treatment are not a “one size fits all” situation.

Signs and Symptoms

Worst case scenario, a higher degree of liver cirrhosis may or may not exhibit the signs and symptoms which include the following:

  • Jaundice or the yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin.
  • Ascites where fluid starts to accumulate in the peritoneal or abdominal cavity.
  • Hepatic encephalopathy – This is a decline in the brain’s functionality. It may involve confusion, slurred speech and drowsiness.
  • Spider-like blood vessels branch out or start to show on your skin.
  • Skin is easily bruised or bleeds.
  • Skin itchiness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Redness all over your hands or
  • Breast enlargement in women.
  • Testicular atrophy in men. Cells start to degenerate in the area resulting in shrinkage of the testes and loss of function.
  • Swelling of the legs.

It is important that when a number or majority of these signs and symptoms are present in your body, you must never hesitate to rush an appointment with your doctor. Delaying medical attention or treatment will end in irreversible damage to different organs of your body.

Major Causes

  • Excessive alcohol intake or abuse.
  • Viral Hepatitis B and C.
  • Fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis is the accumulation of fat in the liver. It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic and can be difficult to distinguish.

Other Causes

  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • In-born bile duct deformity.
  • Digestive disorders.
  • Bile duct destruction.
  • Obstruction of the bile
  • Accumulated copper minerals in the liver.

Prevention of Liver Cirrhosis

Preventive measures or steps need commitment. As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”  Doing so, it could significantly reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis.

1. Eating Healthy and Appropriate Diet

Eating plant-based food—a diet full of green vegetables and fruits can improve your internal organs’ health and performance, and that includes the liver. It contains nutrients and plenty of fibers and natural detoxifying agents that are highly beneficial to the body.

As mentioned, one of the causes of cirrhosis is fatty liver, and reducing high intake of fatty and greasy food can make a difference. Also, some studies made prove that caffeine can protect you against liver cancer.

2. Maintaining Proper Weight

Relating to fat, doing daily exercise routines can burn excess fats that start to accumulate in different parts of your body. Exercise also helps reduce the risk of the disease from developing.

Liver cirrhosis is common in fat or obese people. Talk to your physician or check out charts for the recommended body weight according to height. You can also seek fitness experts and trainers about different weight loss plans applicable to you and for their advice.

3. Refraining from Alcohol

Having an occasional sip of alcohol is okay. A little bit would probably do you good but excessive or abusive intake of such can result in liver damage and the increased risk of liver cirrhosis.

If you have other types of liver disease, ask your physician if occasional drinking can do you no harm. For someone who already has liver cirrhosis, common sense dictates zero-alcohol intake. Imbibing alcohol will worsen your condition.

4. Reducing Hepatitis Risk

A factor that can cause liver cirrhosis is hepatitis B and C. The disease is transmitted through direct contact with the blood of an infected person and exchange of bodily fluids such as saliva through kissing or using an infected person’s utensils or eating the same food. Exchange of bodily fluids through intercourse can also spread the diseases.

5. Changing Your Lifestyle

A person with liver cirrhosis will need to implement a change of lifestyle. Alcohol is now off the list. Refrain from eating foods with high salt content. Sodium triggers your body to retain fluids which could worsen some of your symptoms such as the accumulation of fluids in the peritoneal area and your legs. From here on then, you need to start a low- or non-sodium diet.

Liver cirrhosis makes you lose your appetite. You need to do everything to maintain proper nutrition and diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Not eating and drinking right can cause malnutrition and extreme weight loss which could trigger other complications.


Choosing between curative and preventive, most people would rather learn how to prevent cirrhosis of the liver than risk getting one and then curing themselves. The process of curing the disease is not at all 100%, it’s costly, too. There is a chance your liver may not respond well to treatments. Genetics, pre-existing conditions and complications affect treatment. Although there is a considerable advancement in the field of medical science, there’s no denying the risk that failure happens.