Liver Symptoms – Cirrhosis
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
- weight loss
- loss of hunger
- weakness may increase
- a decrease in urine production
- pain in the stomach
- bleeding gums
- breast enlargement in men
- overall body inflammation
- 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:
Spider 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.