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What are the early symptoms of cirrhosis?

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Early symptoms of liver cirrhosis may include loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, fatigue and weakness, according to the Canadian Liver Foundation. As the disease progresses, additional symptoms may include easy bleeding and bruising, yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, confusion and slurred speech, states Mayo Clinic. Patients often show no signs or symptoms of cirrhosis until extensive liver damage occurs.

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As of 2015, there is no cure for cirrhosis, and there is no way to repair scarring of the liver, explains Mayo Clinic. However, treatment can stop further damage. Causes of cirrhosis include chronic alcohol abuse, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, destruction of the bile ducts, hepatitis B or C, and autoimmune hepatitis. In as many as 20 percent of all cases, cirrhosis has no known cause.

In the early stages of cirrhosis, treatment to minimize liver damage focuses on addressing the underlying cause, states Mayo Clinic. For example, patients with cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse should stop drinking, and patients with cirrhosis caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should control their blood sugar levels and lose excess body fat. In the advanced stages of cirrhosis, the liver may stop functioning, requiring a liver transplant.

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