The side effects of liver disease are inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure, according to the American Liver Foundation. Each of these side effects of liver disease has a set of symptoms and characteristics associated with the progression of liver disease.
The first side effect of liver disease from any cause is inflammation; the liver may become tender and enlarged. It is possible to experience no pain so the inflammation may go unnoticed, states the American Liver Foundation. If the inflammation is not treated, fibrosis occurs and the liver becomes scarred and function is impaired. The liver can still heal itself if the disease is treated at this stage.
If liver disease is untreated after inflammation and fibrosis develop, cirrhosis occurs, explains the American Liver Foundation. Cirrhosis side effects include yellow skin or eyes, itchy skin, swelling and bruising. Cirrhosis may also lead to liver cancer and can contribute to Type 2 diabetes. Cognitive function may be impaired as toxins build up in the brain, resulting in confusion and memory loss. At this stage of liver disease, the liver is no longer capable of healing itself. The last side effect of liver disease is liver failure. Symptoms of liver failure are fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea. Individuals experiencing liver failure must seek immediate medical attention.