Viewer Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Symptoms

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cirrhosis:

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?

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Comment from: Loving wife of Jack, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 16

My husband is 57 and found out in 2005 that he had alcoholic liver disease and continued to drink. He started losing strength in his arms around the early part of 2009. During the past four years he had intermittent bouts of jaundice, very dark yellow eyes and skin. His testicles started swelling in April 2009 to the size of a cantaloupe and soon his lower right leg and eventually both legs were swollen very big. I had noticed also, a couple of months before the swelling, his abdomen was getting really big but I just thought he was eating too much. The doctor ordered a CAT scan, which revealed cirrhosis, and the doctor said my husband only had about 10% of his liver left. On June 9, 2009 I had to call 911 because he started having seizures and couldn't stand or walk without having them. He was admitted to ICU and was told that his blood pressure was terribly low and ended up getting a blood transfusion. The next day he started having extreme DT's while in ICU, he was there for one week and was able to come home. He went straight to a 30 day rehab and no longer drinks alcohol. He had done amazingly well since rehab but just last week (Nov. 6th) he has started having hepatic encephalopathy and has been very confused and very short attention span, doing and saying very bizarre things. I understand this is all part of it and I'm trying to get him to take his medication to help get rid of some of the ammonia in his blood. I NEVER had any idea that alcohol damaged so much of your body. It has made a non-drinker out of me and hopefully our 15 year old son.

Comment from: glenda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I'm 44 and have been a heavy drinker since my teens. About a year ago I began gaining weight in my mid section. I've always been thin but never blessed with a waist. I just attributed my new belly with mid-age spread and went up a size in pants. This Spring I began having problems with my bowels, cramping, bloating. With all of the new products, and extensive advertising promising to cure such problems, I went the home remedy route... Needless to say, June 26th I couldn't take it anymore and went to the doctor whom immediately sent me to the E.R. There I experienced the joy of having my abdomen tapped and drained. Luckily I was able to go home the next day to continue treatment. I was your typical hard core girl. Work hard play hard. Thought as long as I was maintaining my house, family and finances everything was o.k., never knowing my liver was being damaged beyond repair. Right now I'm on a restricted salt/high protein diet. Diuretics daily(one helps maintain potassium) Next week they scope my esophagus to my intestines, looking for possible bleeders, that they will band if necessary or start me on a prescription of beta blockers to reduce pressure in those veins. Hopefully I won't have to do either. This is my future, something I will forever have to be mindful of if I choose to enjoy the rest of my life. Did I ever expect to do it without a cold beer in my hand? No. But, perhaps if I hadn't ever done it, that delicious cold Bud Light wouldn't just be a memory.

Comment from: Em, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 27

I am 32 years old and cannot remember a day when my mother did not have at least one drink. The summer of 2008, she was diagnosed with hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. She experienced rapid weight loss, jaundice, weakness, swelling in her legs, redness of her hands and feet, and lethargy. Even after her diagnosis, she continued to drink. She has since stopped drinking; however, the damage has been done. My days consist of shuffling my mom to and from different doctor appointments to treat the different ailments that keep arising from her cirrhosis. Now that sobriety has set in, she can understand the consequences of her actions. It is a shame that she has come to awareness too little too late. My advice is this: Pay attention to your body, get regular check-ups, and if you suspect something is wrong with your liver, insist on a blood test. It only takes one test to see if there is a problem. Early detection and treatment is essential to living a long life.

Comment from: pllfngr7, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 27

I am 34 years old, and I went to the emergency room about week ago for extreme stomach pain. I had occasionally vomited blood; I believed it was an ulcer. I didn't think anything about the dark color of my stool, except that I haven't made a solid bowel movement in months, if not a year. I figured it was all related to my ulcer problem. Boy was I wrong. At the ER, I underwent an ultrasound and three CT scans. I have been a heavy drinker since I was about 16 years old. The CT scan revealed my ulcer, which was no surprise, and then the ER doctor asked me to sit down. I did, and he then revealed to me that I have cirrhosis of the liver. He told me in the best case, I have 17 to 24 months to live. Since I don't have insurance, this is my fate. My hands are shaking as I type this. Sorry, I just can't believe that I have just been given an expiration date like what's on a battery or a gallon of milk. The only thing I can say to this is: If you have children and they like to party like I did, please inform them of the fate that might be in store for them.

Comment from: Rose, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 02

Almost within 2 weeks my husband had lost a large amount of weight, his head looked very skeletal and his shoulder bones stuck out. My husband had not had a drink for 28 years and was not a needle user or sexually active. But 5 years ago he was diagnose with Hep C and the doctor made his diagnoses sound as if it was a common cold and did not provide much information, other than don't drink alcohol, stay away from red meat and that was it. So we thought it was something that went away. Shortly after that my husband had been sick from his hernia and then hospitalized for getting C-DIF, supposedly being overly medicated by the doctor, and for many years my husband took Tylenol and Bayer Aspirin for chronic headaches. Now my husband has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to the doctor's lack of information and our lack of knowledge. This could have been prevented with a good doctor and of course health insurance which we have none and now no insurance will even consider him. It is a lose, lose situation. I can only trust in God.

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Cirrhosis of the Liver - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your cirrhosis?



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