What Are the Symptoms Associated With End-Stage Liver Disease?

Symptoms of end-stage liver disease include jaundice, intense itching, easy bruising or bleeding, and loss of appetite, according to Mayo Clinic. The patient may notice swelling in the legs and abdomen due to intense fluid buildup. He may have problems with memory and concentration.

End-stage liver disease, or cirrhosis, progresses to the point where the liver loses its function, causing liver failure, explains Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms at this stage include light-colored stool, an orange or brownish tint to the urine, blood in the stool, fever and behavioral changes, reports WebMD. The only effective treatment for end-stage liver disease is liver transplant.

As the disease worsens, the patient may need hospice care, explains Vitas Healthcare. Symptoms of declining end-stage liver disease include breathing difficulties, bowel dysfunction, abdominal distension and cognitive impairment. The patient may be unable to work, and he may spend most of his time lying down. He may be unable to orally take food, and this often leads to weight loss. He either suddenly or gradually loses functional independence, and his moods and behaviors change. Other signs that the end-stage liver disease has progressed and that the patient may need end-of-life care include restlessness, itchy skin and malaise.