Symptoms & Causes of Cirrhosis
What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?
You may have no signs or symptoms of cirrhosis until your liver is badly damaged.
Early symptoms of cirrhosis may include
- feeling tired or weak
- poor appetite
- losing weight without trying
- nausea and vomiting
- mild pain or discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen
As liver function gets worse, you may have other symptoms, including
- bruising and bleeding easily
- confusion, difficulties thinking, memory loss, personality changes, or sleep disorders
- swelling in your lower legs, ankles, or feet, called edema
- bloating from buildup of fluid in your abdomen, called ascites
- severe itchy skin
- darkening of the color of your urine
- yellowish tint to the whites of your eyes and skin, called jaundice
What causes cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis has different causes. Some people with cirrhosis have more than one cause of liver damage.
Most common causes
The most common causes of cirrhosis are
- alcoholic liver disease—damage to the liver and its function due to alcohol abuse
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- chronic hepatitis C
- chronic hepatitis B
Less common causes
Some of the less common causes of cirrhosis include
- autoimmune hepatitis
- diseases that damage, destroy, or block bile ducts, such as primary biliary cholangitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis
- inherited liver diseases—diseases passed from parents to children through genes—that affect how the liver works, such as Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
- long-term use of certain medicines
- chronic heart failure with liver congestion, a condition in which blood flow out of the liver is slowed
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(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.