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Symptoms of Cirrhosis
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Small, red spider-like blood vessels under the skin—caused by increased pressure in the tiny blood vessels due to liver congestion
- Increased sensitivity to drugs
- Reduced testicle size
- Enlarged, tender breasts
- Loss of interest in sex
- Reddened or blotchy palms
- Loss of body hair
- Sleep disturbances
- Fever and other signs of infection—due to altered immune function
- Pale or clay-colored stools—caused by a reduction in excreted bile pigments
- Frequent nosebleeds, skin bruising, or bleeding gums—resulting from decreased liver synthesis of clotting factors
- Ascites —water retention and swelling abdomen caused by obstructed blood flow through the liver and reduced synthesis of the protein albumin
- Bacterial peritonitis—infection of ascites causing abdominal pain and fever
- Itching—caused by deposition of bile products in the skin
- Jaundice —yellowing of the skin or eyes due to build-up bilirubin
- Vomiting blood—due to swollen veins in the esophagus that burst
- Encephalopathy and coma—mental changes, including forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, confusion, and agitation, caused by the build-up of ammonia in the blood
- Decreased urine output and dark urine—caused by kidney dysfunction or failure
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Cirrhosis. American Liver Foundation website. Available at: http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/cirrhosis. Updated December 3, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
Cirrhosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 27, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
Cirrhosis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/index.aspx. Updated February 21, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
Heidelbaugh JJ, Bruderly M. Cirrhosis and Chronic Liver Failure: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74:756-762.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 05/08/2014