Patient Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Symptoms

The symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: JeannieD, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 25

My husband, 68 years old, was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to 46 years of heavy drinking. He stopped drinking after seeing the third doctor, but his legs are so swollen, even though he takes a diuretic every day. He has to use a cane now to walk. He has no appetite and his upper body mass is just wasting away. They drained his abdomen a few weeks ago and took out 2.5 liters of fluid. I am sure this will have to done on a regular basis. I wonder if the swelling in his legs will ever go down. I know there are different stages of this disease, but I have no idea at what stage my husband is.

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Comment from: Jackie4867, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I am a "healthy" 46 year old that spent my life avoiding the hazards of drinking and drugs. I worked out, kept a healthy weight and drank only on special occasions. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroid disease at 30 years old and that began a chain reaction in my health. I was gaining weight but felt it was due to age. The doctor decided to add some pills into my diet to control my increasing cholesterol which meant more blood work. The blood panel came back with crazy high ranges for my liver so my gallbladder was removed as it was fossilized into my liver. My ranges still refused to budge but by then I was exhausted with the constant doctor visits that I stopped going. One year after my gallbladder was removed, I miscarried and had to have surgery again. The doctor was panicked by my blood panels and admitted me to the hospital for 3 days but again I figured it was a fluke and ignored their requests for further tests. I constantly felt tired, drained so much that car trips longer than an hour required me to pull over to nap. I was itchier by the day, felt like my ankles, foot soles and palms were just ready to be torn off. I was breaking out in cysts on my chest and face though I never had acne before. The following year my appendix ruptured and the surgeon panicked and referred me to another doctor. After an ultrasound, repeated blood work, an endoscopy, a liver biopsy, and a colonoscopy I finally gave in and accepted I was sick. By then it was almost too late, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis with PBC (primary biliary cirrhosis) and stage 3 - 4 cirrhosis. I have had to have 2 more surgeries due to varices and perforated ulcers caused by my crazy immune system. I am now taking about 22 pills a day to curb my immune system and perform all the functions that my liver would normally do, I still swell up on my legs and fingers, get a little confused and tire easily but intend on living my life fully. My suggestion to anyone who will listen, do not ignore it, it is controllable as long as you're willing to get treatment.

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Comment from: ajoy, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 08

My father who was 63, passed on a few months ago. He was alcoholic and suffered from cirrhosis of liver. He was in denial of his weakness for alcohol and always thought he had things under control. His condition deteriorated within 4 months. He started with a visit to hospital due to severe ascites when all his clothes stopped fitting him. After that it was a visit and admission to hospital every 15 days due to portal hypertension, blood in vomit, endoscopy, etc. His body withered away within a matter of weeks and he lost all his muscle. He grew weak and edgy with time as it slowly dawned upon him that there may be no way out of this after all. His protein levels were low and his will to live died over a period of time. Terrible times for family and a sad way to die. His ammonia levels shot up in the last week of his life and he was incoherent and semi-conscious. Last two days he was unconscious and hardly responded to any calls. Alcohol kills if consumed in large quantity.

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Comment from: YellowSub, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I just turned 52. I was diagnosed with type II diabetes in April of 1999 and fatty liver disease in September of 1999. I tried my best to control my blood sugars and not have a lot of stress in my life but unfortunately I did not try hard enough. The fatty liver disease and uncontrolled blood sugars caused my liver to morph into non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver of which I was diagnosed in July of 2008. I was not monitored between 1999 and 2008, so I am unsure of how long I was actually in cirrhosis. Now, I have developed some of the classic symptoms such as water logged fingers and palms reddish in color. I look sick, I have enlarged spleen, two types of anemia, low CBC counts and I required 4 transfusions already this year, endoscopies to cauterize and/or band esophageal varices, extreme nausea, an ERCP (shunt in pancreas for pancreatitis), extreme sleepiness, high ammonia levels causing hepatic encephalopathy, itchiness and memory (short and long term) problems at times and then I am fine and can remember. I am sure I have not listed everything. The only thing that has not shown up yet is jaundice. I was a partyer in my 20's, but not every day. I stopped doing it in my late 20's way before the doctors found that I had diabetes type II and fatty liver disease. I can tell you this, being 40 lbs overweight and no glucose control has wreaked havoc on my liver and my body.

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Cirrhosis of The Liver - Treatments Question: What treatments did you receive for cirrhosis of the liver?
Cirrhosis of The Liver - Causes Question: What was the cause of your case of cirrhosis of the liver?
Cirrhosis Of The Liver - Diagnosis Question: How was your case of cirrhosis diagnosed?
Cirrhosis of The Liver - Experience Question: Please describe your experience, or the experience of someone you know with cirrhosis of the liver.

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