Cirrhosis and Its Complications

Liver cirrhosis is a serious chronic disease. It is one of the six leading causes of death among people aged 35 to 60 in developed countries, according to statistics. In the United States, about 50,000 people die from it every year.  Let’s talk about Cirrhosis and Its Complications in more detail. This information will help you better understand the disease and learn to distinguish its signs.

The First Signs of Cirrhosis in Adults

The first sign that there is something wrong with a person’s liver is asthenovegetative syndrome. In this case, the patient constantly feels tired, although there is no reason for it. He feels weak, becomes irritable, and reacts strongly to quite innocent words or actions. He often has headaches.

Then there is the so-called dyspeptic complex of syndromes. It includes:

Nausea, which sometimes develops into vomiting;

  • Burping;
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation;
  • Abdominal pain that worsens with fried, pickled and fatty foods, as well as when alcohol is consumed;
  • Unwillingness to eat, up to a complete lack of appetite for a long time;
  • Stomach heaviness;
  • Bloating in the stomach.

All of the above may also indicate other illnesses. That is why cirrhosis is not always diagnosed clearly at this stage. Moreover, about 20% of people who suffer from it are only able to determine the true cause of the problem after death. 

Complications

Cirrhosis of the liver can lead to a variety of complications. These can include bleeding from esophageal varices or pneumonia, peritonitis, and other complications caused by infections. The following adverse effects often occur.

  • A hepatic coma is a disorder of the central nervous system, manifested by a sharp decrease in the size of the liver, increasing drowsiness, impaired orientation, slowed thought processes, and eventually the patient falls into a stupor and then into a comatose state.
  • Thrombosis in the portal vein system — clots (blood clots) prevent free blood flow to the liver, causing cell death.
  • Hepatorenal syndrome — leads to impaired kidney function, especially common in those suffering from acute liver failure or alcoholic cirrhosis.
  • Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma — formation of a rapidly developing malignancy that is often associated with hepatitis C and hepatitis D.

Liver cirrhosis itself is a dangerous disease. But when complications arise, the risk of death increases significantly. For example, with hepatorenal syndrome, if it is not treated in time, death occurs 10-14 days after the development of this complication.