Cirrhosis Symptoms

Liver Disease: Dangerous And Possibly Deadly There are dozens of diseases that affect the liver. The two most common causes of liver diseases are viral infections and drugs. Though there are different causes of liver diseases, the clinical signs and symptoms are divided in to two categories.
Due to liver cell damage
Due to obstruction to bile flow

Signs and symptoms due to liver cell damage:

In liver cell damage there is defective synthesis of proteins and defective detoxification. The signs and symptoms include
Jaundice
Dark urine
Vague abdominal pain
Loss of appetite
Fever occasionally
Bleeding
Fluid collection - Late manifestation
Brain, lung and kidney dysfunction in the final stages

Signs and symptoms due to obstruction to bile flow:

In bile flow obstruction there is defective excretion from the liver and defective absorption of fat and fat soluble vitamins from the intestines. The signs and symptoms include
Jaundice
Itching
Bleeding
Pale stools
Dark urine
Vitamin A,D,E and K deficiency

Common Liver Diseases:

Viral hepatitis:
Among the different viruses that affect the liver, the most significant ones are the hepatitis viruses. The types of hepatitis viruses affecting the liver are Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Of these, the Hepatitis B infection is the most dangerous. Hepatitis B virus infection is acquired by sexual contact and by blood transfusion. It damages the liver cells and causes minimal bile flow obstruction. There are a few drugs which can control the disease to a certain extent, including lamivudine and interferon. The complications of a hepatitis B infection include cirrhosis and liver cancer. There are however, vaccines available to prevent Hepatitis B and A infections.

Drug induced hepatitis:
Some drugs can cause liver damage either in the normal doses or in higher than normal doses. These drugs can cause liver cell damage or bile flow obstruction, depending on the medication. Some of the common drugs implicated in liver damage are
Anti TB drugs like INH, rifampicin and pyrizinamide
Antibiotics like erythromycin
Anesthetic drugs like halothane
Anti pyretics like paracetamol ( in high doses)

Cirrhosis:
Cirrhosis is condition characterized by irreversible damage to liver cells. The cells are destroyed and are replaced by non-functioning nodules. Some of the causes of cirrhosis are chronic alcohol intake, hepatitis B and C infection, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease and alpha 1 anti trypsin deficiency. Cirrhosis later leads to cancer liver.

Liver Cancer:
Cancer liver is fatal condition affecting the liver. There are different types of liver cancer. The most common one being the HCC or the hepatocellular carcinoma. HCC is a final complication of cirrhosis.

Some of the other diseases affecting liver are
Tuberculosis
Connective tissue disorders
Blood malignancies
Malaria

Evaluation of patients with liver disease should be directed at
(1) Establishing the etiologic diagnosis
(2) Estimating the disease severity (grading)
(3) Establishing the disease stage (staging).
Diagnosis should focus on the category of liver disease, such as hepatocellular versus bile flow obstruction injury, as well as on the specific etiologic diagnosis. Grading refers to assessing the severity or activity of disease - active or inactive, and mild, moderate, or severe. Staging refers to estimating the place in the course of the natural history of the disease, whether acute or chronic; early or late; pre-cirrhotic, cirrhotic, or end-stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis symptoms?
    I heard my dad's got cirrhosis after being confined to the hospital just now... we thought at first it was Hepatitis after finding out after some tests it was cirrhosis... what bothers me is they found a high level of an enzyme indicating cancer im praying its just cirrhosis... but when i look at him hes not weak hes still energetic can still walk but he has jaundice and that musty breath symptoms of fetor hepaticus..and he did lose a lot of weight and has a swollen tummy... tomorrow we will find the CT scan results.. my question to you doctors or nurses out there is... will he get better and could that enzyme just be a symptom because that was before his medication today... i know me and him dont see eye to eye but im kinda worried bout my old man thanks
    he doesnt drink... hes not an alcoholic thats for sure and im surprised why the heck he had that.. we all thought it was just hepatitis btw hes a doctor...

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not a doctor, but I did lose my dad to cirrhosis last year.

      I wanted to let you know that it's ok to be scared, and that I am sorry you are going through this.

      I don't know what stage your Dad is in, but the doctors did tell us before my dad passed away that if my Dad changed his lifestyle, along with some meds, they could have prolonged his life.

      Good luck to you all. I will be keeping your family in my prayers.

  2. QUESTION:
    What are Cirrhosis symptoms?
    Have you lived with someone with cirrhosis? Or do you have cirrhosis? What are the symptoms? I have looked on medical sites but what do people say about it in there own lives.

    • ANSWER:

  3. QUESTION:
    What symptoms might a person experience in the final stages of cirrhosis of the liver?
    I'm planning a story where a character finds out he has cirrhosis, and it's in the final stages. How long is someone typically given to live if they are in the latter stages of this disease, and what symptoms might they experience?

    • ANSWER:
      I was diagnosed with cirrhosis when 90% of my liver was already destroyed with scar tissue. I had 10% function left. The doctors still gave me a time frame of 5 years before I would reach total failure. If a person drinks or has hep C on top of the cirrhosis, the progression can be much quicker.

      Later stage symptoms would be fluid retention (ascites), jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, blood clotting problems, internal bleeding if unwanted veins that form burst or leak, encephalopathy that can cause confusion, forgetfulness, memory loss, behavior changes, violence and even hallucinations if severe enough. If left untreated, it can progress to coma. Fatigue is always a problem that increases over time. It is not unusual for someone with cirrhosis that is near failure to sleep 16 hours a day. They also become increasing weak.

      If you look up cirrhosis on Wikipedia, it will give you a lot of details that you could use.

  4. QUESTION:
    Stage 6 Cirrhosis - what are the symptoms of conditon of someone in Stage 6 of cirrhosis of the liver?
    Patient told he was in Stage 6 - also is a victim of Agent Orange. What are the symptomsd of someone in Stage 6 of cirrhosis of the liver and also, what is the prognosis?

    • ANSWER:
      There is no stage 6. Liver disease has 4 stages and cirrhosis itself has 3.

      Liver Disease Stage

      0- no fibrosis present
      1- small amount of fibrosis
      2- a little more fibrosis present
      3-even more fibrosis present (stage 3 is bridging fibrosis)
      4- cirrhosis (permanent scar tissue) is present

      Cirrhosis Stages
      stage A- compensated cirrhosis (no symptoms)
      stage B- beginning of decompensation (symptoms are present but controlled with meds)
      stage C- depcompensated cirrhosis ( meds no longer working and total liver failure is near)

      These are the stages that I have always known and never heard of any other staging.

  5. QUESTION:
    What are the primary symptoms of cirrhosis especially if one already has a fatty liver?

    • ANSWER:
      There are different types of fatty liver...
      The kind where the fat surrounds the outside
      of the liver capsule usually doesn't cause
      much problems. However, when the fat is
      inside the liver cells it can. It is like a very
      small room where people crowd in so much
      and the walls start to close in. What happens
      is that the people inside the room cannot get
      out, they can't get nourishment and the oxygen
      start to be low. This is what happens inside
      the cell, the fat can even push the nucleus of
      the cell into another area. This is when the
      cell can become so stressed, that the
      immune system is signaled and inflammation
      develops in the liver causing the liver to
      start to enlarge. Usually, the immune system
      helps but now it is like more people being
      pushed into this tiny space. When this takes
      place, the cells may start to die off.
      If this happens, then scar tissue will start to
      form inside the liver and this will block the
      blood flowing through it and then symptoms
      will appear. The liver is usually a very quiet
      organ when something is wrong. That is
      until the cells start to die off and the cells
      are no longer doing the function they once
      did to keep the body healthy.....this is
      then known as cirrhosis of the liver.
      In cirrhosis, the first symptoms are usually
      tiredness, sometimes nausea, and then
      the whites of the eyes and skin start to appear
      yellow in color. This yellowing is caused because the liver isn't able to change the
      non soluble bilirubin into a soluble form so
      it can be eliminated from the body. Instead
      it goes into the blood and can cause these
      changes and maybe a darkening of the urine.
      As the disease progresses, then you may
      develop fluid in the abdominal area (Ascites),
      mental confusion (Encephalopathy),
      blood backing up into smaller vessels that
      are not used to handling it because it can
      no longer go through the liver (Portal Hypertension) and these smaller vessels can
      have weak spots and balloon out and burst
      open (Varies).
      Some people can cure the problem of
      fatty liver by losing weight or following the
      doctors instructions. It is best if this is
      done before the inflammation starts to
      develop. Inflammation can be treated also.
      Once the cells of the liver die, then it is a
      progressive disease.
      There are three types of fatty liver.
      Simple fatty liver can usually be cured.
      NASH, or non alcoholic fatty liver with
      inflammation can be treated. This usually
      involves weight loss. However, sometime
      it can be hereditary condition.
      Alcoholic fatty liver, by stopping the alcohol
      and before inflammation develops can also
      be treated.
      Cirrhosis of the liver can only be slowed down.

      If you would like to learn more about cirrhosis:
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

      If you would like to learn more about the
      different kinds of fatty liver diseases:
      http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/gihealth/fld.asp

      Hope this helps you understand more about
      this disease.
      On these sites they state more symptoms of
      cirrhosis than what I could post here.

  6. QUESTION:
    What are the symptoms of stage 1 cirrhosis?
    Also do yoy have to drink to get it?

    • ANSWER:
      Many people who have primary biliary cirrhosis do not have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

      Itching (pruritus).
      Fatigue.
      Yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyes (jaundice).
      Discomfort in the upper right part of the abdomen.
      Dry eyes and mouth.
      Vaginal dryness.
      With more advanced liver damage, people may have complications related to cirrhosis such as:

      Fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites).
      Bleeding of enlarged veins in the esophagus, stomach, and rectum (variceal bleeding).
      Premature thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).

  7. QUESTION:
    my dad has cirrhosis of the liver, what are the end symptoms how do we know it's happening?
    My father has cirrhosis of the liver and has been given 6 months to live... Is there something that happens medically that will tell us if it's go in to be sooner then that?

    • ANSWER:
      Home : Digestive Diseases A-Z List of Topics and Titles : Cirrhosis

      Cirrhosis
      On this page:

      What is cirrhosis?
      What causes cirrhosis?
      What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?
      What are the complications of cirrhosis?
      How is cirrhosis diagnosed?
      How is the severity of cirrhosis measured?
      How is cirrhosis treated?
      When is a liver transplant indicated for cirrhosis?
      Points to Remember
      Hope through Research
      For More Information
      Acknowledgments
      What is cirrhosis?
      Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver. Scarring also impairs the liver’s ability to

      control infections
      remove bacteria and toxins from the blood
      process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
      make proteins that regulate blood clotting
      produce bile to help absorb fats—including cholesterol—and fat-soluble vitamins
      A healthy liver is able to regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged. With end-stage cirrhosis, the liver can no longer effectively replace damaged cells. A healthy liver is necessary for survival.

      The liver and digestive system.

      Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, accounting for 27,000 deaths each year.1 The condition affects men slightly more often than women.

      1 Miniño AM, Heron MP, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD. Deaths: Final data for 2004. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr55/nvsr55_19.pdf. Updated October 10, 2007. Accessed January 20, 2008.

      [Top]

      What causes cirrhosis?
      Cirrhosis has various causes. In the United States, heavy alcohol consumption and chronic hepatitis C have been the most common causes of cirrhosis. Obesity is becoming a common cause of cirrhosis, either as the sole cause or in combination with alcohol, hepatitis C, or both. Many people with cirrhosis have more than one cause of liver damage.

      Cirrhosis is not caused by trauma to the liver or other acute, or short-term, causes of damage. Usually years of chronic injury are required to cause cirrhosis.

      Alcohol-related liver disease. Most people who consume alcohol do not suffer damage to the liver. But heavy alcohol use over several years can cause chronic injury to the liver. The amount of alcohol it takes to damage the liver varies greatly from person to person. For women, consuming two to three drinks—including beer and wine—per day and for men, three to four drinks per day, can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis. In the past, alcohol-related cirrhosis led to more deaths than cirrhosis due to any other cause. Deaths caused by obesity-related cirrhosis are increasing.

      Chronic hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is a liver infection that is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood. Chronic hepatitis C causes inflammation and damage to the liver over time that can lead to cirrhosis.

      Chronic hepatitis B and D. The hepatitis B virus is a liver infection that is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood, semen, or other body fluid. Hepatitis B, like hepatitis C, causes liver inflammation and injury that can lead to cirrhosis. The hepatitis B vaccine is given to all infants and many adults to prevent the virus. Hepatitis D is another virus that infects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis, but it occurs only in people who already have hepatitis B.

      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In NAFLD, fat builds up in the liver and eventually causes cirrhosis. This increasingly common liver disease is associated with obesity, diabetes, protein malnutrition, coronary artery disease, and corticosteroid medications.

      Autoimmune hepatitis. This form of hepatitis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking liver cells and causing inflammation, damage, and eventually cirrhosis. Researchers believe genetic factors may make some people more prone to autoimmune diseases. About 70 percent of those with autoimmune hepatitis are female.

      Diseases that damage or destroy bile ducts. Several different diseases can damage or destroy the ducts that carry bile from the liver, causing bile to back up in the liver and leading to cirrhosis. In adults, the most common condition in this category is primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease in which the bile ducts become inflamed and damaged and, ultimately, disappear. Secondary biliary cirrhosis can happen if the ducts are mistakenly tied off or injured during gallbladder surgery. Primary sclerosing cholangitis is another condition that causes damage and scarring of bile ducts. In infants, damaged bile ducts are commonly caused by Alagille syndrome or biliary atresia, conditions in which the ducts are absent or injured.

      Inherited diseases. Cystic fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson disease, galactosemia, and glycogen storage diseases are inherited diseases that interfere with how the l

  8. QUESTION:
    What are the symptoms of cirrhosis, I was diagnosed with hepatic steatosis/fatty liver and am still drinking..
    how would i know if I have scarring?

    • ANSWER:
      What Are the Symptoms and Complications of Cirrhosis?

      People with cirrhosis often have few symptoms at first. The two major problems that eventually cause symptoms are loss of functioning liver cells and distortion of the liver caused by scarring. The person may experience fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion. Loss of appetite is usual, often with nausea and weight loss.

      As liver function declines, less protein is made by the organ. For example, less of the protein albumin is made, which results in fluid accumulating in the legs (edema) or abdomen (ascites). A decrease in proteins needed for blood clotting makes it easy for the person to bruise or to bleed easily.

      In the later stages of cirrhosis, jaundice (yellow skin) may occur, caused by the buildup of bile pigment that is passed by the liver into the intestines.

      Some people with cirrhosis experience intense itching due to bile products that are deposited in the skin. Gallstones often form in persons with cirrhosis because not enough bile reaches the gallbladder.

      The liver of a person with cirrhosis also has trouble removing toxins, which may build up in the blood. These toxins can dull mental function and lead to personality changes and even coma (encephalopathy).

      Early signs of toxin accumulation in the brain may include neglect of personal appearance, unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, or changes in sleeping habits.

      Drugs taken usually are filtered out by the liver, and this cleansing process also is slowed down by cirrhosis. The liver does not remove the drugs from the blood at the usual rate, so the drugs act longer than expected, building up in the body. People with cirrhosis often are very sensitive to medications and their side effects.

      A serious problem for people with cirrhosis is pressure on blood vessels that flow through the liver. Normally, blood from the intestines and spleen is pumped to the liver through the portal vein. But in cirrhosis, this normal flow of blood is slowed, building pressure in the portal vein (portal hypertension). This blocks the normal flow of blood, causing the spleen to enlarge. So blood from the intestines tries to find a way around the liver through new vessels.

      Some of these new blood vessels become quite large and are called "varices." These vessels may form in the stomach and esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach). They have thin walls and carry high pressure.

      There is great danger that they may break, causing a serious bleeding problem in the upper stomach or esophagus. If this happens, the individual's life is in danger, and action must be taken quickly to stop the bleeding.

      Liver: Three Types of Alcohol Induced Damage

      Three conditions of the liver are often associated with alcohol abuse. Liver disease in alcoholics usually progresses through the three conditions chronologically starting with fatty liver and proceeding to alcoholic hepatitis which can eventually lead to cirrhosis.

      Fatty Liver: Fat deposits in the liver. To some extent, fat deposits will happen in almost all heavy drinkers. It can also happen in non-alcoholics after just one incidence of drinking.

      Symptoms: People with fatty liver may have no symptoms and have just an abnormal enlargement of the liver that is smooth and non-tender with minimal or no functional changes. However, alcoholics may have

      · Abdominal pain

      · Severe jaundice syndrome(a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucus membranes, and white part around the eyes caused by greater than normal amounts of bilirubin in the blood)

      · Acute liver failure

      · Ascites (abnormal accumulation of fluid containing proteins and electrolytes and causing an abnormal swelling in the abdomen)

      · Coma

      · Death.

      Outcome: Chances of recovery are better at this stage than with cirrhosis. Damage is reversible and does not necessarily lead to more serious damage.

      Alcoholic Hepatitis: Widespread inflammation and destruction of liver tissue. Patients may develop fibrosis, where scar tissue begins to replace healthy liver tissue.

      Symptoms: Fever, jaundice, and abdominal pain.

      Outcome: May be fatal but also may be reversed by abstaining from alcohol.

      Frequency: Occurs in 50% of heavy drinkers.

      Alcoholic liver: Cut surface of gross autopsy specimen of liver showing unnatural paleness due to a dense network of scar tissue (fibrosis, cirrhosis). Scarring has occurred in response to chronic injury from alcohol abuse.
      Alcoholic cirrhosis: Most advanced form of liver disease, 15-30 percent of heavy drinkers.

      Early Symptoms: General weakness, weight loss.

      Later Symptoms: Loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling, and spider nevi (spidery red marks on upper body arms and face). Causes extensive fibrosis that stiffens blood vessels and distorts the internal structure of the liver. Functions of the liver may be impaired which may lead to malfunction of other organs such as the brain and kidneys.

      Outcome: Usually fatal due to complications such as kidney failure, and hypertension (high blood pressure) in the vein carrying blood to the liver. This disease is usually fatal if chronic alcohol exposure continues; however, if the patient quits drinking, their condition may become stable.

      Frequency: Statistics from different populations vary because of varying lifestyles; however, statistics show that between 40-90% of the 26,000 annual deaths from cirrhosis are alcohol-related.

      The alcoholic will progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis, to cirrhosis. Sometimes heavy drinkers may develop alcoholic cirrhosis without first developing alcoholic hepatitis, and it could also happen that an alcoholic may have a sudden onset and rapid course of alcoholic hepatitis; then die before cirrhosis develops.

      Not all liver disease in alcoholics is caused by alcohol. Also, alcohol induced liver disease may be accompanied by other conditions not related to alcohol but which can cause liver failure, such as nonalcoholic hepatitis and exposure to drugs and occupational chemicals. Furthermore, it is important to remember that fatty liver and alcoholic hepatitis may be reversed if you stop drinking alcohol, and cirrhosis can be stabilized if you stop drinking alcohol.

      If the liver loses its ability to remove toxins from the brain, the patient may have additional symptoms. The patient may become forgetful and unresponsive, neglect personal care, have trouble concentrating, and acquire new sleeping habits. These symptoms are related to ammonia intoxication and the failure of the liver to convert ammonia to urea. High protein intake in these patients can also lead to these symptoms

      Based on the above; pls consider this as a wake-up call and stop drinking immediately. You're asking for more trouble.
      I have taken care of pts on the late stages. They have constant frank red stools ( bloody, foul odor) and can't stop bleeding.

  9. QUESTION:
    What are the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis?

    • ANSWER:
      Patients with cirrhosis may have few or no symptoms and signs of liver disease. Some of the symptoms may be nonspecific, that is, they don’t suggest that the liver is their cause. Some of the more common symptoms and signs of cirrhosis include:

      Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood
      =Fatigue
      =Weakness
      =Loss of appetite
      =Itching
      =Easy bruising from decreased production of blood clotting factors by the diseased liver

  10. QUESTION:
    symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver?
    My son has an extremely large stomach for his build. He has Hepatitis C. Is this a result of this?

    • ANSWER:
      Hepatitis C is a virus that has entered a patients body
      and is using the liver cells to replicate itself.
      When it uses these cells, the liver cells die.
      The liver does try to regenerate new cells...however,
      as the disease progresses and the viral load becomes
      more...this isn't possible. The immune system of the
      body will start to respond to all the damaged cells.
      This can cause the liver to enlarge in size. Since
      the liver is located in the upper right hand quadrant
      under the rib cage...the doctor can only feel the very
      bottom part of the liver if it is enlarged or not.
      An ultrasound would be used to confirm this.
      As Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver cells) continues,
      it can lead to where the liver cells start to die off and
      form scar tissue inside the liver (Cirrhosis of the liver).
      As the disease advances, this can lead to the build
      up of fluid in the abdominal area, known as Ascites.
      It builds up because the liver no longer can make a
      protein efficiently, that holds fluid inside our vessels...
      it leaks out and collects in the abdominal area.
      The doctor can do an ultrasound or Ct scan to confirm
      this or there is an examination he can perform to see if
      he can tell there is fluid there. If it is Ascites, he can
      ask to have an paracentesis procedure to remove the
      fluid so he can breathe, eat, and be much more
      comfortable. It is the doctors decision on whether this
      should be done and how much fluid will be removed.

      The doctor may place him on a "lower" sodium diet and
      give him diuretics. However, since the sodium has to stay
      within a certain level because it helps the heart to beat
      in rhythm...this will have to be watched closely on blood
      tests results. Patients who develop Ascites, also develop
      fluid build up in their legs and feet and other places over
      time.

      He should be seeing a gastroenterologist or hepatologist
      now. The very best test to find out how far advanced he
      is in the disease is a liver biopsy....since they look directly
      at the tissue of the liver and not just films of it.

      I hope this information has been of some help to you.
      Best wishes

      Links you can click on:
      http://www.hcvets.com/data/hcv_liver/cirrhosis.htm
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cirrhosis/DS00373
      http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/cirrhosis.html

  11. QUESTION:
    what are the symptoms of the final stages of cirrhosis?
    any info would be appreciated. thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function as a result of chronic liver disease.
      Symptoms

      * Bleeding hemorrhoids
      * Confusion
      * Impotence and loss of interest in sex
      * Jaundice
      * Nausea and vomiting
      * Small, red spider-like blood vessels on the skin
      * Swelling of the legs
      * Vomiting blood
      * Weakness
      * Weight loss

      Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:

      * Abdominal indigestion
      * Abdominal pain
      * Breast development in males (gynecomastia)
      * Decreased urine output
      * Fevers
      * Nosebleed or bleeding gums
      * Overall swelling
      * Pale or clay colored stools

      Symptoms may develop gradually, or there may be no symptoms.
      Treatment

      Treatment attempts to manage the complications of cirrhosis and prevent further liver damage. It may include stopping certain medications and alcohol that caused the problem.

      Other treatment options are available for the complications of cirrhosis:

      * Bleeding varices -- upper endoscopy with banding and sclerosis
      * Excess abdominal fluid (ascites) -- diuretics, restrict fluid and salt, and remove fluid (paracentesis)
      * Coagulopathy -- blood products or vitamin K
      * Encephalopathy -- lactulose medication and antibiotics
      * Infections -- antibiotics

      If cirrhosis progresses and becomes life-threatening, a liver transplant should be considered.
      Causes

      Cirrhosis is caused by chronic liver disease. Common causes of chronic liver disease in the U.S. include:

      * Hepatitis C infection
      * Long-term alcohol abuse (see alcoholic liver disease)

      Other causes of cirrhosis include:

      * Autoimmune inflammation of the liver
      * Disorders of the drainage system of the liver (the biliary system)
      * Hepatitis B
      * Medications
      * Metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease)

      Tests & diagnosis

      During a physical examination the health care provider may find:

      * An enlarged liver or spleen
      * Excess breast tissue
      * Excess fluid in the tissues lining the abdomen (ascites)
      * Expanded (distended) abdomen
      * Reddened palms
      * Red spider-like blood vessels on the skin
      * Smaller (contracted) fingers
      * Small testicles in men
      * Widened (dilated) veins in the abdomen wall
      * Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)

      Tests can reveal liver problems including:

      * Anemia (detected on a CBC)
      * Coagulation abnormalities
      * Elevated liver enzymes
      * Elevated bilirubin
      * Low serum albumin
      * Enlarged liver (seen with an abdominal x-ray)

      A liver biopsy confirms cirrhosis.

      This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:

      * Alpha-fetoprotein
      * Cholesterol test
      * Complement
      * Renin
      * Serum magnesium - test

      Prognosis

      Cirrhosis is caused by irreversible scarring of the liver. Once cirrhosis develops, it is not possible to heal the liver or return its function to normal. It is a serious condition that can lead to many complications.

      A liver specialist (hepatologist) should help evaluate and manage complications. Cirrhosis may result in the need for a liver transplant.
      Prevention

      Don't drink alcohol heavily. If you find that your drinking is getting out of hand, seek professional help.

      Avoid intravenous drug use (or only use clean needles and never share other equipment) to reduce the risk of hepatitis B and C.

      Some research indicates that hepatitis C may be spread via shared use of straws or items used to snort cocaine or other drugs. Avoid snorting drugs or sharing any related paraphernalia. If you have a problem with illicit drugs, seek help.
      Complications

      * Bleeding disorders (coagulopathy)
      * Bleeding esophageal varices
      * Build-up of fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and infection of the fluid (bacterial peritonitis)
      * Coma
      * Hepatic encephalopathy
      * Increased pressure in the blood vessels of the liver (portal hypertension)
      * Kidney failure (hepatorenal syndrome)
      * Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
      * Mental confusion or change in the level of consciousness (hepatic encephalopathy)
      * Sepsis

      A procedure called TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) is sometimes necessary as a result of many of these complications.
      When to contact a doctor

      Call your health care provider if:

      * You develop symptoms of cirrhosis

      Call your provider, or go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if:

      * You have rapid changes in alertness or consciousness
      * You vomit blood

  12. QUESTION:
    Liver cirrhosis and the symptoms?
    What are the initial symptoms of liver cirrhosis due to Hepatitis B. So that, any affected person due to hepatitis B himself can identify the symptoms and what are the precautionary measures to be taken to control by the affected individual

    • ANSWER:

  13. QUESTION:
    Explain some of Mr. X's symptoms of liver disease (cirrhosis) such as 'prolonged clotting time'?
    Mr. X has cirrhosis of the liver.

    Prolonged clotting time is when blood takes a longer time to clot than standard.

    Explain some of Mr. X's symptoms of liver disease (cirrhosis) such as 'prolonged clotting time'?

    THANK YOU!

    • ANSWER:
      Ascites...fluid in the abdominal area...caused
      because the liver can no longer make a
      protein, known as Albumin, efficiently.
      Patient doesn't feel much like eatting cause
      of fluid pressure against the stomach...may
      have difficulty breathing as fluid presses up
      against diaphragm. Fluid may be drained
      by a procedure known as paracentesis

      Encephalopathy...the liver is no longer able
      to convert ammonia to urea efficiently.
      The ammonia stays in the blood and passes
      the blood brain barrier and goes into the brain.
      The patient becomes easily confused and
      disoriented. He may develop tremors and
      hand flapping. The doctor can give medications
      like Lactulose to remove the ammonia in
      the intestines...

      Portal Hypertension with Varies...the scar
      tissue inside the liver blocks the flow of
      blood through the liver on its way back to
      the heart. This blood backs up into the
      portal vein and into smaller vessels that
      are not used to handling this amount
      of blood (known as varies *varicose veins*).
      The varies can develop weak spots and
      balloon outward and break open causing
      internal bleeding. The varies are located
      mostly in the esophagus, rectal area,
      and belly button area. It is an emergency
      situation if any blood (red, purple, or coffee
      ground like) is vomited or coming
      from the rectum.
      Doctors can go in and band the varies to
      stop the bleeding with an scope. There are
      other methods also...this is the main one.

      Prolonged clotting time...as the liver cells
      die off, the functions they do also start
      to deteriorate. One of these functions is
      to make clotting factors, that help the blood
      to clot. Since these factors are not being
      made in sufficient amounts...the patient
      will bleed and bruise very easily. This
      becomes quite a concern, considering
      the varies and internal bleeding...that I mentioned above. Blood transfusions
      may be necessary. There is a normal
      amount of time in a healthy patient that
      the blood does clot...usually it is right
      away. In the lab they time the blood to
      see how long it takes to clot...if it takes
      longer than normal...they say it is
      prolonged.

      Edema of the legs, feet, and other areas.
      This is not the same as Ascites. This
      is caused because patient with cirrhosis...
      their bodies tend to hold onto sodium.
      The doctors give patient diuretic and
      place them on lower sodium diets.
      The legs can become very swelled.
      It is best to elevate the legs.

      Jaundice...the yellowing of the whites of
      the eyes and skin and also the mucus
      membranes. Bilirubin is made from our
      dead red blood cells. (in the spleen and
      liver). It is transported to the liver on
      the protein, albumin. It is a non soluble
      form and is taken by the liver and
      converted into a soluble form to flow
      with the bile through tube like structures,
      known as ducts...to the gallbladder to
      be stored and then to the intestines to
      help digest the fats we eat.
      Bilirubin is a pigment...meaning it colors
      things. The liver may no longer be
      able to convert this bilirubin into a soluble
      form...or something has blocked the flow
      of the bile and it has backed up into the liver.
      Both can cause the bilirubin levels to become
      higher in the blood and cause Jaundice.
      However, depending on the cause...it
      can make the urine darker in color as
      the kidneys try to remove it. It can cause
      the stools to become lighter in color...
      almost a grayish white if the bilirubin
      doesn't flow well through the ducts to
      the intestines. Bile acids and mineral
      going back into the liver can cause more cell
      damage.

      Hope this information is of help to you.

  14. QUESTION:
    what is the sing and symptoms of cirrhosis?

    • ANSWER:

  15. QUESTION:
    What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?
    my brother in law was diagnos as cirrhosis but old folks believe that somebody give a curse because his nails where gone .....

    • ANSWER:
      you pee pee itches

  16. QUESTION:
    high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and cirrhosis are symptoms for the chronic use of what drug?

    • ANSWER:
      alcohol

  17. QUESTION:
    Can liver cirrhosis be a hereditary disease? what are the main symptoms of the liver cirrhosis?

    • ANSWER:
      NO. Cirrhosis of Liver is not a hereditary disease.

      Cirrhosis is a condition that causes irreversible scarring of the liver. As scar tissue replaces normal tissue, blood flow through your liver is affected. This makes it increasingly difficult for your liver to carry out essential functions, such as detoxifying harmful substances, purifying your blood and manufacturing vital nutrients.

      A healthy liver performs hundreds of vital functions, including processing most of the nutrients absorbed from your intestine, removing drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances from your bloodstream, and manufacturing bile — the greenish fluid stored in your gallbladder that helps digest fats. The liver also produces cholesterol, substances to help your blood clot and certain other proteins.

      You may not have signs and SYMPTOMS of cirrhosis in the early stages of the disease. But as more scar tissue replaces healthy tissue and liver function declines, you may experience some of the following:

      * Lack of appetite
      * Weight loss
      * Nausea
      * Small, red spider veins under your skin or easy bruising
      * Weakness
      * Fatigue
      * Yellowing of your skin and eyes and dark, cola-colored urine
      * Bleeding from engorged veins in your esophagus or intestines
      * Loss of interest in sex
      * Fluid in your abdominal cavity (ascites)
      * Itching on your hands and feet and eventually on your entire body
      * Swelling of your legs and feet from retained fluid (edema)
      * Mental confusion, such as forgetfulness or trouble concentrating (encephalopathy)-

  18. QUESTION:
    My grandfather is dying of cirrhosis. What symptoms should I look for to know the end is near?
    I don't know a lot about his condition, but I do know that he has cirrhosis of the liver, congestive heart failure, and cancer. Its the cirrhosis that is killing him, and he has recently lost a tremendous amount of weight in his face, neck, arms, and legs. But his ankles are kinda big, and he looks like he is 9 months pregnant with twins. I want to know what I need to keep an eye out for to know that the end is coming soon. I would like to be as prepared as I possibly can, considering the circumstances. In my line of work, I deal with death a lot, but I just don't know how you are supposed to prepare to lose the best grandfather in the world. But if I can see it coming, I think I will have more time to learn how to deal with it.

    • ANSWER:
      as death gets close (within a few days) you are looking at things like, loss of appetite, being lethargic, eventually it will become hard for him to rouse, his breathing will become shallow and slow or shallow and rapid, he will eventually have gaps in his breathing, until the breathing stops completely.

      if he is not getting fluid removed from his belly, he will start to have a hard time breathing and moving around because that fluid pushes up on his diaphragm and his lungs will not be able to fully expand. this will make him feel very tired.

      its best to spend as much quality time with him as you can, make him comfortable, talk about stories, family history, etc... if he is comfortable with it - discuss how he would like his funeral, anyone he would specifically like to speak there, make sure all of his legal documents are in order, work with pain management and basic comfort things. most of all, just be supportive and love him. there is nothing you can do to stop this process, but you can try to make it as good of an experience for him as you can. helping people to die in a comfortable, loved manner if one of the best things you can do for them.

  19. QUESTION:
    Help answer my question Cirrhosis of the Liver?
    I have nausea, cramping in my lower abdominal, soft stool, fatigue, feeling that my stomach is not digesting properly. Can these be symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver. Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      What you describe are symptoms of a cirrhotic liver. Cirrhosis of the liver often does not have symptoms until it is fairly advanced. Symptoms include edema and ascites, (which is fluid build-up in the lower extremites and abdomen, respectively), jaundice, spider angiomas, itchy skin, a wasting/weight loss, and a tendency to frequent infections that don't respond well to antibiotics.

      If you feel you are a candidate for a cirrhotic liver, you should consider a lifestyle change. I don't think, however, that that is what the problem is at this time.

      You may have any number of digestive issues. Visit with your doctor and make a plan to rule out possible ailments and make sure you don't have any sort of infection.

  20. QUESTION:
    Fatal warning symptoms of someone with Hep C and cirrhosis?

    • ANSWER:
      Uncontrollable ascites and edema, severe itching, confusion, extreme weakness and fatigue, sleeping 16+ hours daily, very easy to bruise, eventually unable to walk and becomes bedfast, will most likely slip into a coma and die. This is the fatal end to someone with hep C that has cirrhosis. A liver transpant will be the only option to extending their life. The early symptoms just keep getting worse until it's over.

  21. QUESTION:
    Is blood in the urine a symptom of Cirrhosis?
    It is not me it is a family member. Is Cirrhosis linked to kidney infections?

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds like a kidney issue, not a liver issue. However, having said that, the liver can become over burdened and if diseased or just weak from lots of toxins being dumped into it, will throw off the toxins to the kidneys. So in an indirect way, yes, if the liver has cirrhosis, it could be throwing off the toxins to the kidneys and causing them to be weakened as well and you could get blood in the urine from that.

      I have never, ever found a single client that has not had a weakened liver in America. The problem is rampant and it is very important to find out how much damage to the liver is there to totally understand the extent of the problem your family member is having.

      I strongly suggest you seek out a Certified Nutritional Therapist that can help you. They can work along with your doctor, if you choose, or not to determine what specific nutrients they are missing and to recommend supportive diets that will help their liver become healthy, not just some "make believe health" drugs offer.

      good luck to you

  22. QUESTION:
    is blood in the urine a symptom of Cirrhosis?

    It is not me it is a family member. Is Cirrhosis linked to kidney infections?

    • ANSWER:
      It could be a number of thing,such as a bladder infection, to kidney stones. best way to find out is to see your Doctor. he can do a pee test to see if you have a urinary tract infection, does it burn when you go pee, and hurt in the lower part of your stomach?

  23. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis of the liver symptoms.. and Need Help!!?
    I have a family member who has been diagnosed 15+ years ago with cirrhosis of the liver. He is probably the largest alcoholic known to mankind. He drinks at least 30 + beers a day, and is now experiencing constant nosebleeds, for over 3 days now.. It just bleeds and bleeds when he sits up. He has blood in his urine and his stool appears blackish greenish of color and has constant diarrhea, but does not eat very often.. at all!

    I am assuming that hes in the end stages of this disease and want to know if any of you have had these issues with a family member or friend, and what is wrong and how long that this trend will continue and what will happen.

    Thank you so much for your cooperation in advance, we appreciate any answers you may have!

    • ANSWER:
      I have worked with people who had cirrhosis. They get swelling in their abdomen (ascites) & extremities (edema). The stomach can get the size of a honeydew melon.
      Vit K gets reduced & so there is more bleeding. As the toxins build up in the body, the skin begins to itch...the person becomes jaundiced & mental changes occur...sometimes during these various stages antibiotics are given.

      High potency Vit B complex can be helpful as can milk thistle. However, I don't know how long it will prolong his life.

      Google: mayo clinic>>diseases>>cirrhosis

      I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.
      Good luck.

  24. QUESTION:
    How long can a person survive after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver?
    I found out a couple of days ago that my mom has cirrhosis of the liver. While I was looking for the symptoms of it I realized that my mom has had many of this symptoms for over 5 years. In 1997 my mom was diagnosed with diabetes and she always drank alcohol with her medication but the past 5 or 6 yrs the drinking has gotten worse. My mom has had trouble walking for many years because of her swollen ankles and yr after yr it has gotten worse and now she can't walk at all. My mom lives in germany and I need to know how long she has so I can go see her.

    • ANSWER:
      Blood tests will tell her physician what condition her liver is in. cirrhosis caused by excessive alcohol can be gradual, or sudden onset. My husband had a patient he saw 10 years ago. He told the guy then that if is alcoholic consumption continued at the present rate, he's be dead in 10 years. About 10 years later, the guy showed up in my husband's office, a little yellow in the eyes. Tests showed he had no liver function at all. My husband put him in the hospital, and told him he needed to begin thinking about his wills, his trusts etc., that he had probably a week to live. The parents, wife, and kids of this man were madder than hell at my husband, but two days later, the guy was becomming really ill. By the end of the week, reallllllly. He died within a week....

      So, to answer your question, blood tests will reveal how bad your mother's liver functions are....

  25. QUESTION:
    What do these symptoms sound like?? HIV? Cirrhosis?
    Please...I need someone to help me. I don't trust doctors. A lot of times they are wrong with their diagnosis, so I feel more comfortable asking this on Yahoo answers. I will tell you my symptoms and experience and if ANYONE has ANY insight into what my problem may be...please respond. I am hoping the good spirits will lead me in the right direction as I've had these problems for over 10 years now. OK, so when I was a child I was pretty healthy...I got earaches from time to time and strep throat. I never had sex with anyone until I was 18. but I had bad breath when I was in school but not chronic. I think it was just due to a dry mouth but it was definitly worse than average so I had some underlying problem, I am sure of it. Also the infections were more than normal. Then at age 17 I had a MASSIVE overdose on MDMA AND SPEED during a 3 day binge (I know I was a moron and I deserve what I got,...but I didnt know how bad it was for you back then...but I still shouldnt of taken so many pills) I almost died. I went to the hospital and they couldnt figure out what was wrong. They said it was heroin withdrawl. I am sure that wasnt it. I dont think there was heroin in the pills. Even with the brown dots in them, I was told heroin in pills is a rumor. So, thats besides the point. Ever since the overdose, I have had insanely serious health problems. I also smoked weed everyday for 10 years (all day long...I was considered the biggest pothead in my town) I am sure this weakened my immune system since I did not do it in moderation. I will explain all my symptoms here in a moment. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. So, I think the pot is also a factor. Since I quit, I have felt slightly healthier. My serotonin seems to be back....My parasites have reduced, etc. So, I relate that to my immune system. Anyways, my symptoms are White Coated Tongue (also it is yellow sometimes...and it's severe....brushing wont get rid of it....the only thing that reduces it is eating all raw food and living a healthy lifestlye...which is hard for me to do all the time) Alslo i have a swollen and (sometimes) dried up ankle(mostly when I drink a lot of alcohol). It's also looks like my ankle is "scarred" ...this could be when it got real dry and I picked the skin off and it started bleeding, but it was dry for 10 years. People would look at it and say "What's wrong with your ankle!?" So, it is very abnormal. I looked up online and I think its ankle edema. My lower leg is also usually swollen. I am sure the overdose messed my liver up as I always have horrible breath even if I brushed and flossed 10x a day it wouldnt help. I know my body is overun by bacteria...thats ovbious to me. I am not sure what diseaes I have though since the doctors never diagnosed me correctly (and also i am AGAINST taking prescription drugs, as they also weaken your immune system...so I stopped going to the doctor over 8 years ago...since they never helped me anyways) I started eating as good as possible (organic foods, etc) but i also have been eating a lot of fast food now lately. I know I need to stop that as it just makes things worse. So, I know what to do, I just need to know what I could have, I am wondering if it might be HIV. I am terrified of needles so I dont want to get an HIV test. Also I've only had sex with 1 girl in my life....and she had the HIV test and came up negative...so I might not have HIV...but then again..I do have the symptoms of it. I also have bad parasites....I can see them when I goto the bathroom...they explode when they hit the toilet...and consquently I also have explosive diarhea (ESPECIALLY for the first 3 days after I quit smoking marijuana....which i rcently quit...but I am still having them right now as we speak) I have quit marijuana several times in my life and everytime I got the explosive diareha. One time I got severe Nausea and vomiting and was CHOKING on my own vomit. I couldnt breath and almost died. I got lucky and got some marijuana which stopped me from throwing up and saved my life. Now I dont get those severe symptoms anymore. Just headacles, and diareah and nausea, but no severe vomiting (thank god!) I think that is due to my years of eating healthy that has strengthened my immune system. Now dont be afraid to tell me I might have HIV...I am NOT a hypocondraict and I will not freak out over it. I really want to know...if I am told i have it...it will be even more motivation for me to do everything healthy so i can cure it. I know the "Cure" word is illegal for health people to use, but I know HIV can be cured...I believe in spiritual healing as well. I think this is the reason I am still here today. I mean, I have had these symptoms for SO LONG now (over 10 years) that you'd figure I would of gotten worse or died. I have actually gotten healtheir. I have heard of people with AIDS who have gotten healtheir to the point to where they only had HIV...so I believe that. I may be one of those cases. I
    by the way I KNOW the pills had MDMA and Speed (but i seriously doubt heroin)in them because I know what both do to you. I had two different types. I had the pink panthers which were very high dose of MDMA (even one led me to seeing vibrations..but I took 10 of them in 2 days) And I had 5 white bombs which were straight amphetemines) I had the overdose in 1999 when pills were much stronger. You could compare it to eating about 50 pills in 3 days for nowadays stength.Plus you're not supposed to mix MDMA and speed...it makes it more toxic. The short term effects were mostly heart problems and I couldnt sleep) I should of died. I definitly had a higher power watching over me.
    By the way I am not overweight at all. I am skinny. I am 30 years old and look like I'm 17....(no exageration)so I havent aged at all either during this crisis. I should of added that in my description. And my bones are very weak. I broke my finger from simply wrestling a friend. I used to wrestle all the time when I was younger and never even came close to breaking any bones..

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like eczema on your ankle. Drinking is poison/toxic for eczema it will flare it up.
      If you have dry mouth that can be what is wrong with your tongue. Smoking weed clogs the saliva ducts. Chew crushed ice for a few weeks should help tons. And help open ducts.
      I know many many old druggies. When there were real hard drugs in the late 60's and 70's. Much of what you say has nothing to do with the ones you did. (Bones being weak) That is from diet while on the drugs. Now your paranoia is drug related.
      If your liver was shot you would have jaundice before anything else.
      Think about cleaning yourself out. Parasites are nasty to one body.
      Your other question said you have some powers that most do not. Maybe your seeing the future with the AIDS if you do not change your ways. Some kind of warning???
      Just a thought.

  26. QUESTION:
    Very early signs & symptoms of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis?
    I've been being studied because I have elevated liver enzymes, I've had a CT scan and an ultrasound that have come back both normal. So we went to the next step and did a liver biopsy. All that came back on that is it showed a mildly inflamed liver but not signs of fibrosis or cirrhosis and my liver had no scarring what-so-ever. But because of my blood work, they want to treat me for PBC. The doctor wants to put me on a medication "just in case" it is PBC but my husband (and I agree with my husband) wants me to get a 2nd opinion by a homeopathic doctor. I've already spoke with one who actually has helped others in my family. My sister-in-law is off all medications she was on and actually lost 23 lbs. by just changing her diet. She, too, had elevated liver enzymes and now they are back to normal. I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place cause I just don't know if I should take the med or not. I've probably had this problem for about 2 to 3 years so I'm thinking what's another couple month to try to rule it out with natural remedies.....Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Mina,
      You weren't specific as to how you were diagnosed, but I can only suspect you had high Alkaline Phos test and a positive AMA or anti-mitochondrial antibody. These are the hallmark blood tests which indicate PBC, along with a high sed rate (ESR) and GGT. It is great that your biopsy is not showing any damage, yet. Keep in mind that a biopsy is a small portion of a particular location of your liver. It is possible that a biopsy of a different location may tell a different story. If you want to talk to some folks that are familiar with the disease, symptoms and diagnosis, you should join the yahoo page on pbc. I have been a member since diagnosed with pbc and they are fabulous. It is true that some do not have symptoms despite advanced liver disease, while some have symptoms before significant damage. Itching, fatigue and other inflammatory symptoms seem to be the most common. I was in the same boat as you and reluctant to take Ursodiol; however, I did a lot of research and joined the yahoo group as well as a facebook group and in the end....decided not taking it was a risk I wasn't willing to take. It is a personal decision. The yahoo group is at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PBC_Digest/ Good Luck!!

  27. QUESTION:
    If someone has de compensating cirrhosis, about how long do they have to live without a liver transplant?
    My husband has cirrhosis. His abdomen is distended, he has jaundice, pain in the abdomen, and most of the other symptoms of end stage liver failure. No one has given us an idea of how much longer he will be with us. We have no insurance, and he only quit drinking 2 months ago, so even if we had money they would not give him a transplant.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are low income, you might qualify for state aid regarding insurance. It would be a guess at best as to how long your husband might have left. A hepatologist or gastroenterologist would be able to give you a somewhat accurate prognosis as to how long. Sometimes people with cirrhosis can go a long time with getting tapped (fluid drained) and treating the symptoms as they appear.

      The pain is probably due to all the fluid retention. If he gets to the point of not being able to breathe right, get him to an emergency room right away. That happened to me when I let the fluid accumulate for too long. It starts squeezing the lungs and everything else. If left untreated, it can be fatal. There is also the risk of the fluid becoming infected which also can be fatal. If he needs tapped, take him to a hospital whether or not you have insurance.

      You don't say how old your husband is or whether or not a transplant might be an option for him if he did have insurance. The transplant centers require 6 months of proven sobriety before they will consider him. There is a procedure called TIPS that is done that can help control fluid accumulation.

      When the liver is near total failure, the person is usually extremely weak and tired. It's common for them to sleep 16 hours/day or even more. Of course they also have the hard bloated abdomen and jaundice. They usually get to the point of not being able to care for themselves any longer due to weakness. Due to the liver not being able to get rid of ammonia like it should, the levels become high which causes confusion, behavior changes, forgetfulness, and even can cause hallucinations and they can become violent. Lactulose is the med used to help this, but near the end it may not help.

      Your husband is really going to need some kind of insurance more than anything else right now. He is going to need medical care to help him through this. If he had insurance, he could at least be evaluated for a transplant. The husband of a friend of mine was an alcoholic who recently had a transplant and he is doing good today. We thought he was going to die. He got through the 6 months of waiting and got listed. Of course, he cannot drink any alcohol for the rest of his life and he understands that. Some people just can't or won't give it up long term.

  28. QUESTION:
    Is advanced stage cirrhosis and end stage cirrhosis the same thing?
    My brother was admitted to the hospital last night because he was very swollen in the abdomen. He is only 26 years old, but he is an alcoholic. We are still waiting for the test results, but it is likely he has cirrhosis. In which stage we still do not know. However, some sites say advanced symptoms, which he has many of, while some sites talk about end stage cirrhosis which is basically fatal. I am just wondering if anyone knows if advanced and end stage mean the same thing?
    He also has mental confusion, tiredness, weakness, and no appetite.

    • ANSWER:
      When something is bothering the liver such as alcohol abuse, it can cause inflammation which can lead to fibrosis (abnormal fibrous bands in the liver). As time goes by, more and more fibrosis forms. As even more time goes by, liver cells may begin to die and scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. This is called cirrhosis.

      The doctor can do a liver biopsy to see how much fibrosis is present. Here's how the stages go using a staging system of 0-4.

      Stage 0- no fibrosis present
      1- small amount of fibrosis
      2- a little more fibrosis present
      3- even more fibrosis present (stage 3 is bridging fibrosis)
      4- cirrhosis is present

      Anyone with even a little bit of cirrhosis is considered stage 4 which is called end stage liver disease (ESLD). All that means is that cirrhosis is present. It can be just a little to very severe. So that's why people refer themselves as end stage if they have any cirrhosis at all.

      But cirrhosis itself also has a staging system which gives more detail. It goes by A, B, and C.

      Stage A- compensated cirrhosis (has no symptoms)
      Stage B- beginning of decompensation (needs medications and treatments to
      help control symptoms of the disease such as fluid retention, banding
      varices, etc.
      Stage C- decompensated cirrhosis (medications no longer work very well to
      control the disease and total failure is near

      The best thing your brother can do for his disease is to stop drinking all alcohol. If he already has cirrhosis, continued drinking will only make the disease progress to total failure faster. If the disease has not progressed very far, sometimes a person is able to live quite well with some cirrhosis as long as they quit drinking and do the right things in taking care of themselves. Once the damage is severe, only a transplant will save their life. They don't give transplants to active drinkers. They require at least 6 months of proven sobriety before they will even consider you for a transplant if alcohol abuse is the cause of the cirrhosis.

      I hope this is a wake up call for your brother and he is paying attention. He is so young to have cirrhosis. Most people don't get it this young. There could be something else going on with him besides just the alcohol problem that is causing this.

  29. QUESTION:
    how long does it take to develop cirrhosis from a fatty liver?
    about a month ago i was diagnosed with a fatty liver the doctor told me to just eat healthyer and watch my diest but i kind of not been doing that lat night my leg felt a little warm and the other my lower back felt warm and when i looked up those symptoms it said it might be cirrhosis cpuld i devloped that in a month??
    sorry for all the misspelled words

    • ANSWER:
      Most people with a fatty liver never progresses to being cirrhosis. A lot depends on what is causing the fatty liver. Someone that has one due to alcoholism runs a greater risk of it becoming cirrhosis that if it were from something else such as diet. There are many people that have fatty livers and do not know it. Even thin people can have one. It's not always about being obese. Just do as your doctor tells you and you should be fine. Don't worry about cirrhosis at this time. Get your liver function checked from time to time to keep a check on things. I had cirrhosis and a liver transplant plus I'm a nurse. I never heard of the symptoms you describe as being a sign of cirrhosis. A warm back and leg is not a sign of cirrhosis. I don't know what list you looked at, but that information is wrong.

  30. QUESTION:
    My father has Cirrhosis How long do I have...........?
    My father has Alcholic Cirrhosis and has all the symptoms of the ending stages. He lives in Hawaii with his wife who is also an Alcholic with her own sickness(unknown). He hasn't stopped drinking and at times they say he can't even walk. I need to see him before he passes. He's at the stage of sleeping alot and he can't talk straight and he forgets things and talks really slow. He won't go to the doctors unless its an emergancy. I don't have much time do I ????

    • ANSWER:
      i'd go see him now if i were you.

  31. QUESTION:
    Is Cherry angioma a symptom of Cirrhosis? It is known that Spider angioma is a?
    symptom but is cherry angioma a symptom?

    • ANSWER:
      Cherry angioma are not usually associated with
      Cirrhosis of the liver. Spider angioma is more common...
      they appear on the neck, chest, and shoulder areas mostly.
      When touched, they blanche. They are called this
      because they look like tiny spiders. Many people develop
      cherry angiomas as they age; though some get them when
      younger.

  32. QUESTION:
    Is blood in the urine a symptom of Cirrhosis of the liver?

    • ANSWER:

  33. QUESTION:
    What are the first initial signs if cirrhosis?
    I am a 23 year old male that has drank and done drugs on and off for about 5 years, what's the chance that I have the early stages of cirrohsis? What are other symptoms?

    • ANSWER:
      cirrhosis 's a long term process disease , it will not show any signs till late of ur life..
      but if u drink large amount of alcohol , there may be other signs of other diseases ..
      the most common of heavy drinking will show up with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage which means that u may have alcohol induced gastritis or esophagitis or esophageal laceration (from a lot of vomiting) , so u'll vomit with blood or black content or having bloody or black stools
      or late of that ,when cirrhosis develops u'll have esophageal varices which u'll not know it untill u have large amount of bloody vomit or black content..
      or u may have alcoholic hepatitis which u'll have fever with right upper quadrant abdominal pain and anorexia and nausea vomiting u'll then become yellow eyes and skin..this becoz ur liver is inflame..

      u better stop drinking for not making everything gone worse :)
      good luck !

  34. QUESTION:
    I was just diagnosed with Cirrhossis, will I be ok, I have no symptoms?
    Doctor just told me because I have hIgh enzyme levels and an enlarged liver I have cirrhosis, but at the moment he says all else is normal, no other complications/symptoms and says if I stop drinking I should live a normal life, but I am worried. Is this true? I stopped drinking for 3 weeks not and I feel really good.

    • ANSWER:
      relax,you will be fine..you have not mentioned your age though..however,be very apt with your habits.you need to be very carefull with your diet ..do not even think of alcohol consumption.do not go for alternative form of medicines..be cautious,go on routine checkups,restrict yourself with the medicines only to what your doc has currently prescribed...

  35. QUESTION:
    What is the final stage of Cirrhosis of the Liver?
    What symptoms tell you that the final stage has arrived and there is no chance of survival?

    • ANSWER:
      When your heart stops beating and you don't breathe.

  36. QUESTION:
    Does anyone know what causes Palmar Erythema with a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis?
    I found millions of websites that state it is a symptom of portal hypertension in association with Cirrhosis, but I need to know the mechanism behind it. What causes it? Any smarties out there?

    • ANSWER:
      I really don't believe that any one knows what causes it.

  37. QUESTION:
    is weight gain, one of the manifestations of liver cirrhosis?
    signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis

    • ANSWER:
      If your liver isnt functioning, like when you have cirrhosis, you are far more likely to lose weight then gain it. Look for yellowing of the eyes, itching, tiredness.

  38. QUESTION:
    Can you live a normal life with cirrhosis if detected early and you don't drink?
    My husband was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis. fIt all start with elevated liver enzymes on a blood test he was taking for insurance. We would have never known something was wrong as he has no symptoms just this elevated number. With some further investigation with his Doc, he concluded Cirrohsis b/c of elevated liver enzymes, enlarged spleen and noticed a lumpy liver. Never had a biopsy. Doc says he would have never known he had it if he wasn't looking for it. He quit drinking 3 years ago and just quit smoking. He's 33 and has no symptoms. I'm worried and want him to have a normal life. I'm assuming it's early stage based on the fact that he has no symptoms.? What are his chances of stopping any more damage and living a normal life? Dr. would like to see him every 6 months to a year.

    • ANSWER:
      I've heard that if people with cirrhosis don't drink, their lives can be prolonged. Also you should watch his diet. My step father was rushed to the hospital by ambulance this morning for his end stage cirrhosis. He found that he had cirrhosis in 2001. Could have had it 10 years or more before finding out. He didn't quit drinking until 3 months ago. Last week the doc gave him > 6 months to live.

      http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/gi/cirrhosis.html

  39. QUESTION:
    What is the life expectancy of a person with cirrhosis who is symptom free?
    My mother was hospitalized 4 years ago for cirrhosis due to alcohol - she had ascites, jaundice, weight loss, fatigue - at the time her doctor didn't think she would live more than 2 months without a transplant. My mom came to live me so I could take care of her (she could barely walk) - within 2 weeks all of her symptoms were gone and she was healthy and energetic again - within a year her doctor told her that she was his poster child and her blood work was that of a healthy women. I was very frightened to see my mom like that in the hospital - she has quit drinking and has had no symptoms since then - you can't tell by looking at her that she has cirrhosis - I was wondering if she continues on taking care of herself - can she have a normal life expectancy?

    • ANSWER:
      Regrettably, cirrhosis is not reversible. Specifically, cirrhosis is the replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis and scarring. These hepatocytes do not regenerate (unlike healthy ones). What her prognosis is depends on the extent of her disease, and how much functional liver is left, plus whatever other health issues she may have.
      If her doctor is saying that her blood work is normal, then the good news is that her remaining liver function is enough to take over for those damaged sections.
      However, should she return to drinking, or should she take some medications which are hepatotoxic (kills off liver cells) then she could suffer a relapse. Additionally, people with cirrhosis have a higher incidence for gastro-esophageal bleeding. This is due to the circulation of the liver (hepatic portal hypertension) which create varices (think of varicose veins) in the esophagus. Just like hemorrhoids (which are also a type of varicosity), they can be prone to injury and bleeding. Also, the liver damage affects clotting factors.
      She will be at higher risk for infections, since the whole hepatic portal circulation issues also affect the spleen. She is also at a higher risk for developing hepatic carcinoma (cancer of the liver), which is very difficult to treat.

      If she keeps up the alcohol free life, watches her diet, doesn't smoke and minds her general health and takes whatever medications she needs to correct hypertension, then there's no reason why she couldn't live a normal life span. She will have to be vigilant about drugs which can affect liver metabolism, and she should be immunized for hepatitis A & B if she hasn't been already.

  40. QUESTION:
    what are the symptoms of the end stage of liver disease?
    My mother has been drinking for 40 years. She has really gone downhill the past few months. Something strange happened. I went to visit and at first she did not recognize me. Then, after a few minutes, she did. Then,today I called her and she asked when I was going to visit. I was just there yesterday. What does this mean? Is she in her last stages of cirrhosis of the liver? Please only serious answers, this is a very serious question. thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Your mother most likely is confused due to high ammonia levels. This can lead to a condition known as encephalopathy. It causes behavior changes, forgetfulness, and confusion. In the more severe cases, it can lead to hallucinations and coma. Anyone with end stage liver disease can be treated for this with medication. The most commonly used drug is Lactulose which is used for constipation. Loose bowel movements is what gets rid of the excess ammonia that the liver can no longer filter due to poor function. If the ammonia levels are super high, the patient can get admitted to the hospital for more aggressive emergency treatment to bring it down to a safe level.

      I think you need to educate yourself on cirrhosis on Wikipedia and learn all the details of what to expect with your mom in the future. I'm sorry you have to go through this, but this is the sad reality of long term alcoholism. If she does have end stage cirrhosis, then a transplant might be able to save her life. She would be denied one if she is drinking. She would need to have a total lifestyle change before they would begin to consider her. The first requirement is 6 months of detox. It might be something she could work towards for herself is she is really committed to getting better.

  41. QUESTION:
    Herbal medicine for cirrhosis?
    My sister had Inherited diseases of iron disorder (hereditary hemochromatosis) from my father. This diseases damage her liver cell and her liver had a small scar (cirrhosis). She has never been drink or got chronic hepatitis B and C. But She still has gone through everday with the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis — weight loss, fatigue, sleepless, abdoment pain. Everybody has any suggestion or any different medicine such as Herbal herbs and nutritional supplements , please tell us.

    • ANSWER:
      Your sister is no doubt being followed by a hematologist for her hemochromatosis and probably gets routine transfusions. The ONLY things she should be taking are what her doctor has prescribed. I'm sure that you love her and want to help her and you may feel helpless to do so. But please do not solicit suggestions. The majority of the people who answer these questions have no medical background, no understandiing of anatomy and physiology, no knowledge of the disease process. Any advice given could be potentially harmful. The best help you can give your sister is to make sure she follows her doctor's advice, give her emotional support and assist her in her daily activities.

  42. QUESTION:
    Minimum age for cirrhosis?
    I am really freaked out! At the beginning of this year, I was diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and have developed some depression from it. I am 14, and am freaked out that I have cirrhosis!!!! My fingers swell up a lot, especially when its humid or hot. In fact, they are probably swollen more than not. I looked up the symptoms for cirrhosis and feel like I can identify some of them. I have been getting a lot of bruises easily but i don't know if I am just noticing them because I have been looking for something, or not. Also, my stomach seems like it puffs out a little more than normal, however, I have really bad posture, and pop my upper and lower back a lot, and my lower back is curved in a little. I have been feeling weaker and tired more often now, but it could be because of the depression factor. I had a urinalysis done about two months ago when some of this was going on, and it came out normal. I am getting an MRI of my brain and spine, and an EEG for something else this week, and had several blood tests done because of my vegetarianism. Everything came out normal so far on the blood tests except something called RHA which I was told has something to do with arthritis, but they said it wasn't too far off, and they want to retest me. I just finished my period, but I don't know whats up. I've been to the doctor MULTIPLE times this month because of various things: sinus infection (2 wks antibiotics) pink eye (1 wk eye drops) supposedly allergies (a cough and congestion) and since I'm getting even more work done this wk, I don't want to have to go back....but I'm afraid I have cirrhosis!!! What's the minimum age (if there is one)???PLZ HELP!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Personally speaking, I have never heard of anyone 14 years old having cirrhosis. I had cirrhosis and a liver transplant, and in my opinion, none of your symptoms suggests you have cirrhosis. Trust me on this. Cirrhosis takes a lot of time to develop, usually at least 10 years or more. First of all, you have to have something that caused the cirrhosis in the first place. Cirrhosis is scar tissue that replaces healthy tissue in the liver. All this scar tissue takes time to develop.

      Swelling in the fingers is certainly not a sign of cirrhosis. Massive fluid retention in the abdomen is a sign, but it's very severe and makes a person look like they are ready to deliver a baby. It's not going to be a little puffiness in the belly. I had cirrhosis and my finger never swelled. If you had cirrhosis, there would be a lot of abnormals in your labwork like liver enzymes, platelets, biliruben, albumin, INR, clotting time, etc. All these would be abnormal, so be assured that you do not have cirrhosis.

  43. QUESTION:
    Over time, can anti seizure medications cause cirrhosis of the liver?
    I have epilepsy and have been on anti seizure medications, such as Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote, Keppra, etc, since I was 9 years old (I'm 25 now... and female). I've been noticing some strange symptoms lately, like bruising, upper right abdominal discomfort, and loss of appetite. Am I jumping the gun on this and being overly dramatic or should I see a doctor?

    • ANSWER:
      I think you should definitely see your doctor. Liver problems can be a side effect of most anti seizure medications (and most other medications too). I'm currently on Dilantin and Depakote and it's been affecting my liver too. Your doctor will often check your liver functions when he/she checks your blood levels. But if you are having symptoms, I would definitely go see your doc.

  44. QUESTION:
    Could it be Cirrhosis of the Liver???
    Over the past 10-15 years my mom has gone from social drinker going out on Fridays to a sheltered and depressed woman who drinks alone daily- With nothing more on her mind than wanting to be dead. In the past 2-3 years Ive seen my mother go from bad to worse and everything in between. She just recently came down w/ a kidney infection that left her in bed for 2 weeks--And she denies it, but I know she was drinking even then. Not a day passes when she hasn't vomited or almost dropped to her knees in pain. She also suffers from bulimia on top of her alcohol addiction. She's constantly bleeding and claims it's just hemorrhoids, but everybody assumes otherwise. She's 54 years old and looks like a 65-70 year old woman. Although I hate to admit it- I can tell by looking at her that she's slowly dying... She's now past the point of being saved. Im just wondering if anybody knows of any really good websites I could go to to find out the signs and symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver--OR if anybody can share their experiences on the subject....ANY input is encouraged and greatly appreciated.
    Im not looking to put her in rehab...She's been countless times and insists on leaving before they even get a chance to talk about treatment. I know she needs help, but u cant give help to someone who doesnt want to take it. We've all tried and she refuses. Now we've run out of options... As I said she's past the point of being saved. She has her mind set on one thing and that's being done w/ her life and everything it consists of.

    • ANSWER:
      I am really sorry to hear what you are having to go through with your Mother. I had my unfair share of troubles with my Mother abusing pain medicines and not taking them like she was supposed to do.

      I, too, tried rehab for my Mother and it doesn't work for people
      that do not want to be cured. So, until they admit that they have a problem and that they want help or possibly a cure, there isn't much you can do, other than to make your Mother
      comfortable. It is really hard to say just how much longer she
      is going to be with you, considering that she doesn't want help
      and she is continuing to drink.

      Please allow me to offer my condolences about your Mother. It is really hard on children to know just what to expect the alcoholic to do or how the child(ren) can just make their Mom more comfortable. I hope that you will never turn to liquor as a solution to any problems you may have because it is nothing but a cop-out for extremely weak people that don't want any help and since this is a serious disease they are almost always beyond any reason whatsoever. This is a serious illness not to be taken lightly.

      Best of luck to you, sweetie. This isn't your fault and there is nothing that you could have possibly done to prevent this from
      happening. My heart really goes out to you. ♥

      These web sites may provide some helpful insight to you as to what is going on and what may possibly happen in the near
      or distant future.

      http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/

      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

      http://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?sourceType=undefined&query=cirhossis%20of%20the%20liver&navState=0

      http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec10/ch136/ch136c.html

      And I also found this page that is informative as to how to tell if someone has Cirhossis of the Liver:

      The most common symptoms of liver cirrhosis are:

      Weakness
      Loss of appetite
      Weight loss
      Dark skin color
      Intense itching
      Confusion
      Nose bleeds
      Breast enlargement in men
      Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen
      Fluid retention occurs because the liver decreases its production of a protein called albumin. When the blood level of albumin decreases, fluid retention occurs.
      Jaundice
      When the liver's production of bile is compromised, bile can back up into the blood, causing the skin and eyes to turn yellow and the urine to become dark.
      Gallstones
      The abnormal production of bile causes gallstones to develop.
      Blood Clotting Difficulties
      The liver makes certain proteins that help the blood clot. When the proteins aren't made properly, the blood doesn't clot properly.
      Esophageal Vein Bleeding
      Esophageal Vein Bleeding occurs in advanced cirrhosis.
      What Causes Liver Cirrhosis?

      The above topics and information can be found at:
      http://www.mamashealth.com/stomach/livcir.asp

      I know this is a lot to absorb, but I am hoping you will find something here to help you get through the rough days and nights as being the child of an alcoholic parent. ♥

  45. QUESTION:
    my father has got liver cirrhosis.i want does it cause him to die?if yes how long does it take?
    i mean what are the last symptoms of the dieses?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, a cirrhotic liver can kill someone. There are different extents and reasons for chirrohsis. Sx may iclude bruising, bleeding easily, yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes, tounge area and chages in behavior and mental status. It can also be painful since the liver becomes hardened.
      I am sorry for your dad, and your family! I hope he is comfortable... you should ask his doctor your questions, too.

  46. QUESTION:
    how does a person know if they have cirrhosis of the liver?
    are there any symptoms?

    • ANSWER:
      Many people are walking around with liver disease
      and don't know they even have it.
      When it first develops, the only sign may be
      tiredness. Depending on what has caused the
      liver cells to become damaged...they may have
      flu like symptoms.
      As you can see, the things they have may be
      mistaken for many everyday sickness.

      The best way to be sure how the liver is doing
      is to have blood tests done to check the liver
      enzymes and the liver function tests.
      The doctor can tell if there may be a problem
      starting.

      Usually, in most patients, the first sign of
      the liver cell damage is when a person skin
      and whites of the eyes turn yellow...known
      as Jaundice. The jaundice can cause itching.
      By that time, the liver is having
      serious problems...because it is not handling
      the bilirubin efficiently that causes this yellowing.
      In other words, the cells are damaged to the
      point that the functions they do, to keep the body
      well, are beginning/starting to deteriorate.

      If the cause of the problem can be found and
      stopped and any inflammation that may have
      developed in the liver is treated...up to this point
      the problem may be reversed.

      If not it leads to
      the liver cells dying off and scar tissue forms
      inside the liver that blocks the flow of blood.
      This is known as Cirrhosis of the liver.
      That is when more serious conditions and symptoms
      take place: like Ascites (fluid build up in the abdominal
      area); Encephalophathy (ammonia goes pass the
      blood brain barrier and into the brain causing
      confusion, unclear thinking, personally changes,
      disorientation, sleep pattern changes, tremors);
      and Portal Hypertension (blood backs up into
      the portal vein that brings the blood to the liver
      and cause such intense pressure it forces the
      blood into smaller vessels,not used to handling
      this amount of blood and also backs the blood
      up into the Spleen so it enlarges also)
      These symptoms I mentioned are usually in
      the advanced stages of liver disease.

      Hope this information has been of some help

  47. QUESTION:
    prognosis for those diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver?
    heart disease patient just dignosed with cirrhosis. how long will he live?
    His symptoms are advanced-no jaundice or bleeding of the esophagous yet. Has all other symptoms-bruising, abdominal swelling, lethargy, etc.

    • ANSWER:
      Ask his doctor, only he can tell you and at that, it's only an educated guess. When my Mom was DX with a GBM, she was give 3 weeks and lived 9 months. R.I.P. Mom!!

  48. QUESTION:
    getting liver cirrhosis in a month from paint thinner exposure?
    Ok I dont want any answers telling me to go see a docotor. Thats obvious. I just want an my question to be responded to. So for a month I was exposed to naphtha almost daily for a month due to a job I was doing. I was not aware of the msds on it and did not take purcautions. Now I am exhibiting many symptoms of liver cirrhosis. Do you think its possible to have such severe liver damage just from being exposed to its vapors. A good answer would be greatly appreciated

    My symptoms are

    Bleeding gums, mood swing, tight back, veiny eyes, adominal discomfort, iching, fatigue, high blood pressure, light color stool. This iching, mood swings and tight back has gone away, Im pretty sure its the liver, could it just be damaged or am i doomed?

    • ANSWER:
      You are not doomed but, you could have died. Your liver is an amazing organ, it can heal itself if taken out of the environment it was in, you did this, it may take months to heal and may even swell, sometimes to amazing proportions. Some alcoholics have a liver that three times the mass it should be.
      I would have like to hear that you are going for a liver test. Yes these fumes could have harmed you permanently that's why you should go. If your thinking of a recourse in the form of a lawsuit you'll need a doctor confirmation first. It's for your benefit.

  49. QUESTION:
    I'm scared I have got cirrhosis?
    I'm only 25, and have been a heavy drinker for several years now. About 8 years ago I started drinking heavily, 6 pints or more each night in the pub. I was diagnosed with depression aboout 5 years ago and so didn't drink at all when I was on anti-depressants for 9 months or so. Since I came off antidepressants I have been drinking heavily again, at one stage about 2 bottles of red wine each night, and sometimes drinking all day at weekends (up to ten cans of lager). I am now terrified I have cirrhosis, I have no symptoms other than that I am tired all the time, and more worryingly I have red palms of the hands and feet, also some minor jaundice in my eyes, but not so bad that anyones commented on it. I am seeing the doctor on Friday on an unrelated manner but wonder if I should mention it to her. I am scared of hospitals and dont want to be sent for a liver biopsy. I am quite prepared to stop drinking from today, but I am worried that the damage may now already be done and irreversible. I'm too young to die, its seems that everything that could have gone wrong in my life has gone wrong and now this looks like it could be the final nail in the coffin. I totally regret the way I have been drinking over the last few years and if I could turn the clock back I would. :'( Do I have cirrhosis or could the damage have not gone that far yet? Everywhere I've looked, red palms (palmar erythema) is associated with cirrhosis and not any of the preceeding conditions (fatty liver, hepatitis). Dear God help me
    Forgot to say, a couple of years ago my liver was noticabley enlarged (fatty liver?) I am now concerned because my drinking has only reduced slightly, but I can no longer feel my liver at all which makes me think its shrunk due to cirrhosis

    • ANSWER:
      If you continue to drink, I guarantee that liver failure is going to kill you and it's not an easy way to go. I hate being so blunt, but you are playing with fire here and need to know the truth. Everytime you drink alcohol it is poison to your liver. Remember that everytime you take a drink.

      You could have cirrhosis, but from what you tell me, it would indicate the early stage of the disease. You should at least get some labwork that would determine whether or not there is a serious problem. There are 4 stages of cirrhosis. In the early stage, when the source of the problem is taken away such as alcohol, people can get better. If they ignore the warning signs and continue to drink, the disease will progress to the later stages at which time only a transplant will keep them alive. You never want to reach that stage.

      Let this be your wake up call. Tell your doctor. Get the bloodwork done and stop drinking forever. I think you can get well again if you stop drinking NOW. You are very young and have your entire life ahead of you. Don't make it a short one. Good luck and wish you the best.

  50. QUESTION:
    Questions about severity of cirrhosis progression?
    An alcoholic family member has the symptoms listed below. I wondered if a medical professional or someone with knowledge about cirrhosis could determine how advanced this case is.

    ascites
    gynecomastia
    asterixis
    spider angiomata
    hepatopulmonary syndrome
    extreme fatigue
    muscle weakness to the point of not being able to walk

    • ANSWER:
      I had to answer this question because Ringo is SO SO wrong in his answers.

      I had cirrhosis and a liver transplant and am doing great today. No, someone with cirrhosis does not die 3-4 days after getting ascites. That's ridiculous. It is a sign that the liver is not functioning right and can usually be controlled with medication. I had ascites and the doctors told me I could live 5-7 years before needing a transplant.

      A lot depends on what stage of cirrhosis your family member is in right now. There are 4 stages. Your family member must stop drinking now and forever. Alcohol will only cause his liver disease to progress much faster. They may or may not need a transplant. They need to go to a hepatologist that can evaluate them to see exactly how far along the disease might be.

      If they would need a transplant, all transplant centers require at least 6 months of proven sobriety before they will be considered to possibly be listed for a transplant. It a long tough road to getting well again for an alcoholic, but there are many success stories out there that have gotten their life back together and are happy and healthy today. The alcoholic not only has to stop drinking and struggle with their addiction to alcohol, but they must also deal with a diseased cirrhotic liver. It's not going to be easy.

      When an alcoholic does stop drinking and stops poisoning their liver, then the disease process with cirrhosis can be slowed down very much as long as the liver failure is not in the very end stage. If your family member has to get tapped due to all the fluid in the abdomen accumulating quite often, like every week or two, then that would probably mean that they were in the later stage of liver failure. Even then they can do a TIPS procedure to help that, but a transplant would probably be needed soon.