Cirhossis of the Liver

Liver is a crucial organ in the body which performs several significant processes like controlling the infection by eliminating unhealthy bacteria as well as toxins in blood. It processes nutrients, drugs and hormones in the body. It is responsible for producing bile which is crucial for normal digestive function as they absorb cholesterol and helps in digesting fats. Cirrhosis of liver is a concerning medical condition. Under this condition, the healthy tissues of liver gets replaced with scar tissue. This gradually causes deterioration of liver functions. In a healthy state, the liver can replace damaged cells with good cells. However, as cirrhosis advances the liver loses its self-repairing ability. This eventually results in symptoms that hinder the quality of life.

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Symptoms of Cirrhosis of the liver

Cirrhosis often manifests itself through various symptoms. Usually during the initial stages of the condition there is hardly any symptoms of the disorder recorded. Due to accumulation of scar tissue, the functioning of the liver is undermined. Here are some reported symptoms of liver cirrhosis.

  • Occurrence of blood capillaries on upper abdomen skin
  • Tiredness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Itchiness of skin
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduction in body weight
  • Queasiness
  • Pain on the location of liver
  • Red blotches on the palm
  • Weariness

Symptoms of progressed cirrhosis

  • Ascites, a condition wherein the fluids get accumulated in the abdomen causing the stomach to appear larger
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Alteration in personality
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Loss of mass in upper body and arms
  • Inability of body to process alcohol
  • Inability of the body to process drugs
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Fluid accumulation on feet, legs and ankles
  • Bruising
  • Jaundice
  • Hair loss
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Memory issues
  • Frequents episodes of fever
  • Cramps in muscles
  • Bleeding from nose
  • Right shoulder pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Tarry or black stools or else pale feces
  • Darker urine
  • Bloody vomit
  • Staggered walking


Stage 1:
During the early stage of the condition there is often no symptoms exhibited by the body. However, if a close inspection is done jaundice, dryness of mouth, upper stomach enlargement, etc, are recorded in some cases. A person may also suffer from itching sensation. Proper medical diagnosis can help in detecting anomalous tissues in liver and inflammation of liver. 

Stage 2:

During this stage of cirrhosis of liver the anomalous tissues converts into rigid straps of connective tissues. This phenomenon is called fibrosis. This condition influences the portal veins as well as surrounding regions.

Stage 3:

During the third stage of cirrhosis of liver these bands starts merging with each other. This makes the affected area enlarged. Usually disruption of liver functioning is also detected during this phase. The person experiencing 3rd stage of liver cirrhosis will find it difficult to digest fats. Improper absorption of fat-soluble nutrients can also lead to deficiency of vitamin.

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Stage 4:

The final stage of cirrhosis of liver is decompensating in nature. The 4th stage is considered as the most dreaded phase of the condition. In this advanced stage the patient is left with only one treatment option that is liver transplant. All the symptoms of the disorder worsen during the 4th stage of liver cirrhosis.


Life expectancy during liver cirrhosis

Stage 4 of liver cirrhosis can lead to several health complications like hardening of the liver, kidney disease, spleen-related problems, portal hypertension and fluid build-up. Affected individual may also notice reduction in bone mass and density of bone becomes depleted. The body loses its potential to detoxify itself causing toxin concentration in the body. This may cause serious confusion or even lead to coma. It is recorded that cirrhosis of liver is ranked as third physical disease which can lead to death following heart condition and cancer. The type of cirrhosis is determined based on the cause of the condition. Alcoholic cirrhosis is said to have worst consequences as compared with biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis cirrhosis.

If the condition is detected during its initial stages that the life expectancy of the patient may go up to 15 to 20 years. If the condition is detected during its second stage then the patient may have around 6 to 10 years of life expectancy. During these stages the affected person has the option of liver transplant or use of some sophisticated advanced medicines etc. However, if the condition is diagnosed during its last stage than the expectancy of life of the sufferer is unfortunately 1 year to 3 years. This would greatly depend on the overall health of the patient, intensity of the experienced symptoms and availability of effective treatment.

Remember that cirrhosis of liver does not begin spontaneously, but it develops over years with constant damages to the liver. After damages the condition consistently deteriorates the liver causing it to stop functioning. If you overlook any underlying liver anomaly then you may become prone to serious health issues. Treatment of cirrhosis will help in stopping or reducing the progression of the condition.  It is crucial for you to undergo regular medical checkup to track the progression of the condition and accordingly treatment will be suggested by the doctor.


It is said that damages to liver cannot be undone. The patient has the option to control and prevent further damages by using available options. It is very crucial to cease alcohol consumption in order to avoid adversities of the condition. At the same time it is significant to monitor the medicines that you use. In some cases anti-inflammatory medications may also aggravate the condition so ensure that you take your medicines only after thorough consultation with your doctor.

It is also suggested to restrict fat consumption while you are undergoing treatment. It is crucial to have healthy vegetables and fruits. Herbal medicines have showed impressive effects in many cases of cirrhosis of liver. But ask your doctor whether these herbal medicines can be administered simultaneously along with your regular medical regimen. Usually herbal medicines do not have any reaction or side effects which is why they are safe. Patients suffering from this condition can also try certain vitamins and minerals to improve and restore liver to its normal functioning.  Though early diagnosed cases can be handled with medicines in some severe situation transplant is the only option left. Hence, if presence of cirrhosis of liver is suspected it is crucial to consult a doctor.

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  1. If the doctor said that the red cell platles are fighting the good platelets and a liver transplant would not help then what would life expectancy be

    • Very sorry, I to have stage 4 and due to the new drug Harvoni, I no longer have the hep C, that caused it. I do not understand why your husband can’t get a transplant. This is new to me the subject of transplant has not come up yet. I hope and pray everything will be ok for you both.

    • I am very sorry to hear of your husband. My brother has stage 4 Cirohsis of the liver. Why can’t your husband have a liver transplant.

    • Hi.My mom has cirrhosis. I just came from visiting her in New Mexico. I’m so worried about her. She is 72 years old. She said she is soo tired. Tired of being sick. I do a lot of reading about her condition and I know she has to be the last stage of cirrhosis. But dad insists that’s she’s not but I don’t believe him. He just tells my sister and I that so we don’t worry. I’m so worried about her. I hate to see her like this.

    • My mother in law has stage 4 liver failure. I know it’s scary but have faith, trust in the Lord and now we are praying for you as well.

    • How old are you, what do you think caused this? I feel for you I am going for tests myself next week. Do not feel myself at all.

  2. don’t get discouraged and fight the good fight I was diagnosed 7 yrs. ago srage 4 with hep C and I have never let it get me down much work on your bucket list travel have fun and most important think positive tell yourself the liver will not win the battle but your will to survive will overcome all! meditate and pray keep focused on the positive and stamp out the negative thoughts I still travel alone drove from Ok. to Alaska all alone and loved it just got back from Canada have a cruise to 3 countries in dec. you must keep living and planning you will make it through to enjoy to the fullest all that God has given you for the days you have left.I hope this encourages you don’t let dispair win triumph over it God bless you all!

  3. I’ve just learned my disease has progressed to stage 4. I have varices and portal hypertension..I am being reviewed for Harvoni. That could get rid of the hep c but can it reduce the stage 4 progression? I have type 2 diabetes and had an aortic valve replaced 3 years ago. I’m tired, alone and just turned 50. Is it worth it people? I feel like I’ve been dealt a lousy hand and maybe i’ll get a better one when I come back next time.

  4. My husband had HepC he had a liver transplant 5 years ago but the HepC came back after transplant he was on the new medicine and the HepC is gone but he still has stage 4 cirrhosis , I am so scared we have been through so much!! Desperate wife

  5. I have stage 4 cerosis of the liver plus hepc can and hiv im scared as hell i dont know what to do i feel like my world is falling apart around me

  6. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis. I have only a few symptoms, edema controlled by meds, tired, and occasional abdominal pains. will symptoms progress rapidly or slowly . not getting straight answers from drs.

  7. My wife had NASH, she was diagnosed with it back in 07-08 and hasn’t been able to make the lifestyle choices needed to stop the progression.

    The doctors have been non informative about her progression and prognosis, I wish they had been much more vocal in their description of her condition or that she had listened carefully as much to what they didn’t say as well as what they did say.

    She has progressed to the point of having low white blood cell counts and has been bouncing in and out of neutropenia, with counts as low as 900 though she is back up around 1300 now. Her spleen is enlarged and needs to be removed, the CT scan they ordered pre-op caused her surgery to be delayed and moved to a more advanced hospital.

    Reading between the lines I am assuming that she is well along the course of portal hypertension, which as I understand it means that her cirrhosis is fairly advanced. I can’t even convince her to drink non sweetened drinks or to use stevia. She is as much in denial of her dietary problems and her condition as any alcoholic with similarly advance cirrhosis.

    I don’t know what else to do but I constantly feel like I haven’t done enough.

  8. I’m in stage 4 scared very tired hairs falling out no appetite memory issues etc.. My doctor says because I no longer have hep c I’m not a candidate for a liver transplant so so tired!! Aka Bunnylee

  9. My husband is the pesent of liver cirrhhosis .his liver appears shrunken in size.a small calcified speck is seen insegment 4of liver is that the decompensate stage .tell me plz and how many life expectancy in this stage .my husband is ill of liver cirrhosis in 2012 in January can you help me

  10. I feel for all of you. I had Stage 4 liver disease. Ate some contaminated food and contracted an acute case of HEP A. This combined with the toxins I’ve had long term exposure to had a synergistic effect (i.e., 2 + 2 = 22; my MELD). Went from absolutely no symptoms to in the ER in a matter of five days. That was March 1, 2014. On April 23, 2016 I had a liver transplant at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans.

    I live on the West Coast and the two states I reside in either do not have transplant centers or you have to have a 30+ MELD to qualify and even then like a year wait (CA).

    So I strongly suggest doing your reseach. From the day I was nationally listed until transplant was four months.

    Recovery is not fun or some of the side effects or life restrictions. But I know what the other option was and I wasn’t that far away from it. Made way to many visits to the ER/ICU.

    Do the research. Good luck to all.

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