Cirrhosis is a liver condition in which the organ is damaged over a longer period. The liver cells are spoiled and substituted by a scar tissue. If you think that you may have cirrhosis, it’s important to learn its symptoms and causes of this disease.
- Notice if you are often feel suddenly tired. This can be caused by increased fluid volume in the body, which makes the body systems overworked. You can also feel weak, and mistake it for being fatigued.
- Do you often feel itchy? Feeling itchy often is caused by accumulation of waste products in the blood stream, and the deceased liver is not able to remove them efficiently.
- Check if your palms are redder than usual. This means that the liver has a hard time producing blood clothing factors, which leads to red palms and nose bleed. You will also notice that you’re passing black stool.
- Watch out for any weight loss. Damaged liver cannot collect glycogen properly. Glycogen supplies the body with energy, so when the liver is damaged it forces the body to use muscle tissue to supply the cells with energy between meals. This causes muscle wasting and weakness leading to unexpected weight loss.
- Do you lack appetite or feel nauseous? This may be because a damaged liver cannot properly execute its tasks. Toxins will build up in the blood causing loss of appetite and nausea.
- Keep aware of any confusion you might experience. In advanced stages of cirrhosis, the liver can’t filter the harmful substances from the blood, resulting in poisonous substances build-up that alter the brain function. You may experience fainting, sleepiness and confusion. These symptoms can lead to a coma. See a doctor immediately if you are confused or begin to faint. The same issue can result in personality and behavioral changes and memory issues.
- If your skin has turned yellow, visit a doctor immediately. Examine your skin, eyes and tongue. They will often turn yellow in cases of jaundice. The improper function of the liver increases the amount of bilirubin in the blood.
- If a body parts suddenly swells, it’s a sign of cirrhosis. The liver can’t remove waste products in the blood leading to swelling of the feet, ankles and legs. This causes excess water and salt in the body, and causes the abdomen to become bloated as water accumulates. Men can experience swelling of their breasts, shrinking of their testicles and impotence.
- Check your heartbeat – if it is increased, visit a doctor. The increased fluid volume in the bloodstream causes irregular heartbeat. This occurs as the damaged liver cannot remove excess water from the body, overworking the heart because it is pumping blood throughout the body.
- Pay attention to any gradual weight loss. As the damaged liver can’t accumulate glycogen, it forces the body to use muscle tissue to supply the cells with energy, causing muscle loss and weakness.
- Later stages of cirrhosis makes cuts bleed without stopping. Damaged liver cannot create blood clothing factors causing blood to leak from wounds. You should also check if your gums are bleeding more than normal, even if brushed gently.
- Excessive alcohol intake can cause cirrhosis. Men and women react differently to alcohol. Men can take two to five beers daily, while women can only take one or two bottles of beer. Although an individual factor, people who abuse alcohol have an increased risk of cirrhosis. In some cases, even one drink can damage a liver.
- Monitor chronic liver infections, including Hepatitis B and C. They can both damage the liver beyond repair. These conditions are caused by a virus transmitted by bodily fluids. Health care workers have an increased risk of Hepatitis.
- Steatohepatitis can cause cirrhosis. This is a condition caused by fat accumulation in the liver, often occurring in diabetes patients, obese people and people with high blood pressure. The fat tenders and scars the liver tissue over a longer period leading to cirrhosis. People suffering from these conditions are at an increased risk of cirrhosis.
- Bile duct blockage can also cause cirrhosis. The bile duct transports the bile from the liver to the intestines. Accumulated bile can damage the liver. The bile ducts can become blocked or scarred if a person experiences an infection in the body. In children, bile duct blockage occurs by biliary atresia, when the ducts are damaged or they don’t exist. This causes bile accumulation and damage to the liver.