Cirrhosis results when tissue damage causes scarring in the liver. Possible causes include a hepatitis infection, high consumption of alcohol, some genetic conditions, and inflammation that occurs with obesity and metabolic disorder. A doctor may also recommend screening for liver cancer, as the risk is higher among people with cirrhosis. People living with cirrhosis may need regular blood tests and imaging scans. It can improve your liver health and even cure some types of early-stage liver disease.
Portal hypertension can cause lung problems, such as widening of the blood vessels in the lungs. This causes the blood to move too swiftly through the lungs to pick up enough oxygen. It can be comforting to know that you will get the type of care you want. Small red spots and tiny lines on the skin called spider angiomas. Inherited diseases, such as Wilson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or hemochromatosis. This can lead to severe bleeding in the digestive tract and other serious problems. The American Cancer Society offers programs and services to help you during and after cancer treatment. We can also help you find other free or low-cost resources available. Whether you want to learn about treatment options, get advice on coping with side effects, or have questions about health insurance, we’re here to help.
Acute liver failure
About 2% of American adults have liver disease, and therefore are at risk of developing cirrhosis. However, those who drink too much alcohol, those who are overweight and those with viral hepatitis are at a greater risk. Not everyone with these risk factors develops cirrhosis. A wide range of other conditions and diseases can cause cirrhosis as well.
When the liver isn’t filtering out toxins effectively, a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream can lead to nausea and even vomiting. Ongoing nausea is a common symptom of early liver damage. As the damage worsens, the symptoms can also include a loss of appetite, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, and other digestive discomfort. Most people with liver disease report abdominal pain.
Improving your general health
Many types of liver diseases and conditions injure healthy liver cells, causing cell death and inflammation. This is followed by cell repair and finally tissue scarring as a result of the repair process. This article explores the early signs and symptoms of alcoholic liver disease, its stages, causes, risk factors, treatments, and prevention. While the symptoms are the same — including jaundice, pain, and upset stomach — acute liver failure takes only weeks or even days. Pain can come both from the diseases that lead to cirrhosis and/or cirrhosis can make the pain from existing diseases worse. For instance, if you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and have obesity, you may also have osteoarthritis and cirrhosis makes your bone and joint pain worse. Cirrhosis also causes an inflammatory state in your entire body.
A common symptom is pain and tenderness in the upper right area of your belly, including under your ribs on the right side. Acute liver failure can happen in as little as 48 hours. It’s important to seek medical treatment at the first signs of trouble. These signs may include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and discomfort in your right side, just below your ribs. It happens when your liver suddenly begins to lose its ability to function. This often happens right after an overdose of medicine or poisoning. Chronic liver failure happens over a long stretch of time. You and your healthcare team will work together to closely manage your condition and put you on a wait list for a donor liver. Prescribing lactulose to absorb toxins in the blood that result from hepatic encephalopathy, which cause symptoms including confusion and other mental changes. For these reasons, perhaps it’s easier to talk about cirrhosis according to a classification system you are more likely to hear from your healthcare provider.
How is cirrhosis diagnosed?
Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sharing needles and having unprotected sex can increase your risk of hepatitis B and C. Choose a plant-based Sober House diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables. Reduce the amount of fatty and fried foods you eat. Some people end up experiencing multiorgan failure. Researchers now believe this is a distinct complication in some people who have cirrhosis, but they don’t fully understand its causes.
- A large proportion of people who develop liver cancer have pre-existing cirrhosis.
- So it’s important to see your doctor for regular checkups and lab tests.
- Portal hypertension can cause blood to be redirected to smaller veins.
- Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.
- Sometimes the pain migrates to other nearby areas, such as the right shoulder blade and the back.
If your liver disease or complication is caught early and successfully managed, it may be possible to slow or stop the progression of disease. Cirrhosis is a late-stage liver disease in which healthy liver liver damage and bruising tissue is replaced with scar tissue and the liver is permanently damaged. Scar tissue keeps your liver from working properly. Intramuscular hematoma is classified as either spontaneous or traumatic.
A gastroduodenal endoscopy did not disclose any hemorrhagic diseases. Further examinations were not performed due to the general deterioration of his condition. Cirrhosis and the accompanying fibrosis causes significant damage to the liver. Without proper treatment, the scarring and damage will worsen and can quickly lead to various complications, such as easy bruising and bleeding, gallstones, or liver cancer. A bruised liver can cause bleeding you may not see or feel.
Can alcoholics get a liver transplant?
Recent evidence suggests that liver transplants can succeed in patients with alcoholic hepatitis without a mandatory six-month sobriety period.
Another symptom of early liver failure is feeling tired or fatigued, explains Dr. Mareiness. Nausea and vomiting are another sign of early liver failure, per Dr. Mareiniss. The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. See a picture of the Liver and learn more about the health topic. Liver Damage Causes Alcohol and acetaminophen are well-known liver dangers, but what else can be harmful? Steroid medicines if the cause is an autoimmune disease. This causes permanent scarring of the liver, causing it to become hard and lumpy. Is particularly bad for people who have liver problems.
The skin also gets thinner and loses elasticity and fatty layers that cushion the blood vessels. If you have lasting liver problems, you may feel itchy. This happens even though you don’t have a rash or anything on your skin. The itchiness can make it hard to do things like sleep. If you have this, ask your doctor if there’s medicine that can help. Depending on the person’s symptoms, tests may be repeated frequently. A large portion of the liver must be damaged before liver failure occurs.
The first step in treating any level of alcoholic liver disease focuses on removing alcohol from the diet. Once the alcoholic liver disease progresses, its symptoms become easier to recognize. It can be easy for someone to dismiss the early liver damage and bruising symptoms as the effects of a stomach bug or general malaise. However, leaving these symptoms undiagnosed and untreated — especially while continuing to consume alcohol — can lead to a faster progression of liver disease over time.
Drinking a small amount can help people feel relaxed, but too much, too often, can be harmful for health. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Here are some answers to questions people often ask about cirrhosis. Never share needles and take care when dealing with blood. Use a condom during sex to lower the risk of hepatitis. Use diet and exercise to maintain a suitable weight and avoid obesity. Cirrhosis can cause problems with blood clotting, leading to bleeds and clots that can sometimes be fatal. If you don’t have any other symptoms and you have others in the family that also bruise easily, you probably don’t have much to worry about.
How long is the waiting list for a liver transplant?
The waiting period for a deceased donor transplant can range from less than 30 days to more than 5 years. How long you will wait depends on how badly you need a new liver.
Pain in your liver itself can feel like a dull throbbing pain or a stabbing sensation in your right upper abdomen just under your ribs. General abdominal pain and discomfort can also be related to swelling from fluid retention and enlargement of your spleen and liver caused by cirrhosis. Having a diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver doesn’t mean you have an immediately fatal condition. However, as cirrhosis continues, more scarring occurs and liver function continues to decline. Eventually, your failing liver may become a life-threatening condition. You and your medical team will discuss if you are a candidate for a liver transplant. If so, you will begin the process of being placed on a national liver transplant recipient list. If you have been told you have cirrhosis, you have a late-stage liver disease and the damage that is already done is permanent. There are many liver diseases and complications of liver diseases that can lead to cirrhosis.
This type of test can show whether you have the right levels of liver enzymes, proteins, and bilirubin in your blood. It can also tell if you’ve lost a significant amount of blood or have enough of the compounds you need to help your blood to clot. To diagnose a liver injury, doctors usually use a combination of imaging and blood tests as well as a physical exam. Mood or Personality Changes– The accumulation of toxins in your body due to ineffective liver function can infiltrate your blood and travel to your brain.
Treatment is necessary at this stage to prevent the illness from escalating to liver failure because the body will be unable to efficiently rid itself of toxins. The liver will eventually be unable to function because the growing scar tissue will make blood flow through the portal vein and into the liver impossible. Symptoms and inflammation are generally curable during stage I and can prevent liver disease from escalating to stage II. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these 8 signs of liver damage. Lifestyle changes may reduce symptoms caused by complications of the disease and may slow new liver damage. Your doctor will recommend some lifestyle changes to help prevent further liver damage. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbs. Medicines that can hurt your liver include acetaminophen and other pain medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen . Other symptoms can include fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding. Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope.