Early signs and symptoms of cirrhosis include loss of appetite, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Not everyone with the disease will have symptoms. If the liver becomes badly damaged, it may stop performing its normal functions. Among the cirrhosis symptoms that may be present during late stages of the disease are intense itching, fluid buildup in the stomach and legs, and a worsening of jaundice.
An Overview of Cirrhosis Symptoms and Signs
The liver is an organ that performs many important functions. Some key functions of the liver include:
- Filtering waste
- Processing nutrients
- Storing fuel
- Producing bile.
Because the liver does so many important things for your body, you can't live without one.
Cirrhosis is a medical term used to describe changes that occur to the liver because of long-term damage. With cirrhosis, large areas of the liver become scarred -- usually permanently. This can make it harder for the liver to do its job.
But the liver can handle a lot of damage before it begins to slow down. This means that a person with early cirrhosis of the liver may not even know that his or her liver is being damaged. He or she may not have any cirrhosis signs or symptoms or notice any physical changes to his or her body.
If a person with early cirrhosis does have symptoms, they may include:
- A loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- A darkening of exposed areas of skin (seen in people with primary biliary cirrhosis)
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Spider-like blood vessels (spider angiomas) that develop on the skin.