End Stage Cirrhosis

End stage cirrhosis is the last stage in liver complaint. This is usually associated with excessive consumption of alcohol but any other condition that causes liver damage like hepatitis or primary biliary sclerosis may result in cirrhosis. Information about symptoms and remedies of end stage cirrhosis might be helpful in alleviate discomfort.


Symptoms of End Stage Cirrhosis

End stage cirrhosis may be caused by a variety of conditions which might lead to a variance in symptoms. In most cases end stage cirrhosis causes the liver to be covered in scar tissue that limits its function.




Ascites is most commonly observed in cirrhosis, with almost 80% of liver disease patients exhibiting this symptom. This fluid retention typically occurs in abdomen area but it may also occur in chest cavity, legs and feet. Ascites can cause appetite loss, increase of your risk of infection, difficulty breathing properly and increase the risk of developing kidney failure.


Jaundice causes the skin or whites of the eyes to take on a yellowish tinge. This yellowing may be more noticeable in those that have their bile duct obstructed. Consequently the accumulation of bilirubin makes skin yellow. Liver of end stage cirrhosis loses the ability to properly remove the breakdown of red blood cells, which results in jaundice.


Varices refer to blood vessels in the stomach, esophagus or intestines that have become dilated or distended, which will burst if the condition becomes too severe. Cirrhosis patients have a low clotting factor, so a burst blood vessel in this area could threaten life. You may notice a great deal of blood in your vomit or stool, which can make the stool appear tarry or black.

Central Nervous System Damage

Cirrhosis can cause toxins normally removed from the body to build up in the brain. Over time this can lead to forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating or new sleeping habits. You may also notice that these individuals begin to neglect personal care as the symptoms become more severe.

Portal Hypertension

Cirrhosis limits the blood flow through the liver because this increase in scar tissue will put excessive pressure on the veins. This can cause an overflow of blood into smaller veins that are not used to this type of pressure, which can cause these small veins to burst. This may lead to severe intestinal bleeding due to the reduced clotting.

Hepatic Encephalopathy

If your liver is not functioning properly it will fail to remove toxins from the body, and as these toxins build up it may cause confusion and difficulties concentrating. Eventually severe hepatic encephalopathy can cause coma.

Other Symptoms

Additional symptoms include fever, nausea, fatigue, anemia, loss of appetite, clubbing fingertips resulting from a lack of oxygen, malnutrition, shrinking of the testicles, atrophy, impotence or kidney failure.

Remedies for End Stage Cirrhosis

Unfortunately, the treatment options for end stage cirrhosis are somewhat limited because this is the result of long term damage to this organ. But there are several remedies which help alleviate symptoms and discomfort to some extent.

Proper Diet

Following a healthy diet is essential to minimizing your cirrhosis symptoms. Those that consume illicit drugs or alcohol should avoid these substances completely. Malnutrition can cause additional damage to the liver. Liquid dietary supplements may be provided by doctors to make sure you are getting the essential nutrition. If you are too weak to eat on your own, nutrients may be provided via intravenous needle or nasogastric tube.

Reducing Abdomen Fluids

Diuretics are often prescribed to remove excess fluid that has built up in the abdomen or limbs. Furosemide or spironolactones are common medications prescribed to draw out water so the kidneys can expel it through the urine. This condition is often managed after a transplant has already taken place. If the buildup is severe it may be necessary to manually remove abdominal fluid using a needle which is known as paracentesis.

Treatment for Pruritus

Pruritus or itching all over the body is common during end stage cirrhosis. Medications such as antihistamines or cholestyramine can be provided to reduce these symptoms.

Treatment for Portal Hypertension

High blood pressure medication including beta blockers may be prescribed to better address this condition. Your doctor may also use portocaval shunting or variceal banding to manually reduce the pressure on these veins.

Liver Transplant

If the damage to the liver cannot be repaired and the organ is failing then the chances of survival are low without a transplant. There are three common methods of liver transplant. Orthotopic liver transplants remove the damage portion of the liver and replace it with a portion from a donor which is deceased. Heterotopic transplants provide a replacement portion of the liver but do not include the removal of the damaged tissue. Reduced size liver transplants offer a smaller portion of a donor liver that will be set in place after the damaged tissue is removed.

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