There are usuallyfew symptoms during the early stages of cirrhosis. Noticeable problemstend to developas the liver becomes more damaged .
Inearly-stage cirrhosis, the liver is able to function properly despite being damaged. As the condition progresses, symptoms tend to develop when liver functionsare affected.
Symptoms of cirrhosiscan include:
You mayalso notice changes in your personality, problems sleeping (insomnia) , memory loss , confusion and difficulty concentrating.
This is known as encephalopathy, andoccurs when toxins affect your brain because your liver is unable to remove them from your body.
In the later stages of cirrhosis, you may vomit blood or have tarry, black stools.
This is because blood can't flow through the liver properly, which causes an increase in blood pressure in the vein that carries blood from the gut to the liver (portal vein).
The increase in blood pressure forces blood through smaller, fragile vessels that line your stomach and gullet (varices).
These can burst under high blood pressure, leading to internal bleeding, which is visible in vomit and yourstools.
Over time, the toxins that would normally be removed from the body by a healthy liver can cause multiple organ failure, followed by death.
You should see your GP if you have persistent signs and symptoms of cirrhosis.
Seek immediate medical help if you develop the following symptoms, particularly if you've previously been diagnosed with cirrhosis:
Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term liver damage. Find out what the signs and symptoms are, when to see your GP, and how it can be treated and prevented.
There are usually very few symptoms during the early stages of cirrhosis. As the condition progresses, symptoms can include tiredness, loss of appetite and very itchy skin.
There are many different causes of cirrhosis. In the UK, the most common causes are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and long-term hepatitis C infections.
Find out about the tests used to measure liver function and liver damage and how cirrhosis is diagnosed.
Read more about how the symptoms of cirrhosis can be managed using medication and lifestyle changes. Also, find out how the complications of cirrhosis can be treated.
Find out how to reduce your chances of developing cirrhosis by limiting your alcohol consumption and protecting yourself from a hepatitis infection.