Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules (lumps that occur as a result of a process in which damaged tissue is regenerated), leading to loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by fatty liver disease, alcoholism and hepatitis B/C but has many other possible causes. Some cases are idiopathic, i.e., of unknown cause.
What does cirrhosis look like?
Since you can't really see what your liver looks like at any time and as the picture shows, cirrhosis is REALLY ugly, let's talk instead about how cirrhosis presents itself by the signs and symptoms that you feel with the disease. Many people with cirrhosis do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, as scar tissue replaces healthy cells, liver function may begin to fail.
There is a difference between the symptoms and complicationsof cirrhosis. Symptoms are manifestations of an illness. Complications are objective medical characteristics of a specific disorder—a pathological process that occurs during the course of the disease. The most common symptom of liver disease is nothing at all. The second most common symptom is just general weakness and fatigue, which we all have anyhow.
Loss of appetite
Blood in stools
Abdominal pain, bloating & itching
Sensitivity to medications
Skin problems such as: -Red Palms (palmar erythema) -Spider like veins on the surface of the skin (spider nevi)
Gynecomastia: enlarged breasts in men which may be accompanied by small or shrunken testes
Enlargement of the liver and spleen
Distended belly full of fluid (ascites)
Jaundice: Yellowing of the eyes and skin
Liver Breath: A fruity , pungent , musty breath odor
Confusion, disorientation, mood swings (features of Hepatic Encephalopathy HE)