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End-stage Liver Disease Symptoms

End-stage Liver Disease Symptoms

Liver disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This condition has various stages. The end stage is considered to be fatal. Here, the liver ceases to function completely, thereby arising the need of a transplant. This HealthHearty article discusses the symptoms that indicate a total liver failure.
Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
End-stage liver disease is a chronic and irreversible ailment that leads to total liver failure which eventually, can cause death. This disease develops slowly and reaches the final stage over a period of several years. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver disease is the 7th leading reason behind death of adults aged between 25 and 64 years, in the United States of America.


As per statistics, one out of ten Americans have some kind of liver disease. The liver performs more than 5,000 functions every minute, including storage of glucose, formation of bile, detoxifying harmful toxins, and metabolizing. Therefore, if proper care is not taken, liver failure can prove fatal. This makes it essential for you to be able to identify the symptoms which are listed below.
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling in the abdomen area
  • Inflammation of the liver
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin (Jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormality in blood vessels of the skin
  • Itching

The symptoms are hardly noticed in the early stage, and therefore, the detection is very rare. Most patients in the end stage will have an enlarged, tender liver which causes abdominal discomfort and general decline in health. Let us take a look at what causes this disease.
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Genetic disorder
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Alcoholism
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Harmful drugs and toxins
  • Fatty liver
  • Diabetes
  • Bile duct damage

The ultimate and only treatment is a liver transplant. Surgery involves removal of damaged liver and replacing it with a healthy one obtained from a donor, who usually is a deceased person. In case a living person is the donor, it is not possible to replace the entire liver. Only a portion of healthy liver from the donor would be transplanted. However, if the condition is diagnosed in its initial stage, then treatment would include vaccinations, vitamins and mineral supplements, abstinence from alcohol, and maybe some painkillers. However, all of this depends upon the condition of the patient, which can be properly diagnosed only by a qualified healthcare specialist. If the condition is really bad, there may be instances that the patient may not even qualify for a liver transplant.

End-stage liver disease is a crucial condition, wherein a liver transplant is the only option for a person to survive. Which is why, it is very important to identify the symptoms as soon as possible, when the condition is still in its initial stages. For best information, your doctor would be the best source.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.