The liver is the largest solid organ of the human body. It is meaty, reddish-brown in color, and weighs about three pounds on an average adult. The liver’s primary purpose is to filter the blood from the digestive system before being delivered to the rest of the body. In addition, the liver works day and night to protect the body by removing toxins, detoxifying chemicals, and metabolizing drugs that can potentially harm the rest of the body’s organs. It also regulates blood sugar levels, monitors blood clotting, and breaks down nutrients.
Since the liver is exposed to potentially harmful substances, it is also prone to several complications and diseases. A person’s unhealthy lifestyle, heavy alcohol use, substance abuse, unprotected sex, and obesity are some of the most common factors that may increase a person’s risk of having liver disease. In addition, when the liver has been damaged, a person may experience infection, hepatitis, cholangitis, cancer, tumor, and cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis results from scar build-up in the liver, which makes it difficult for the organ to function correctly. This article will focus on the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis.
Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue is a constant feeling of physical and mental weakness. This is usually experienced after an extraneous physical activity or exposure to stressful situations. However, fatigue may indicate an underlying health problem if the feeling of exhaustion lasts for more than three days, even after resting or reducing stress. For example, people with liver infections or liver-related diseases like cirrhosis also experience persistent fatigue.
Cirrhosis hinders the body’s absorption of minerals and nutrients, leading to malnutrition. Patients with cirrhosis may experience severe weight loss because of vomiting and a decline in appetite. The gradual drop of minerals like calcium and magnesium makes it hard for the body to function properly. This is why patients may feel weaker and less energized.
Experts consider fatigue and weakness as one of the earliest signs of cirrhosis. Almost 90% of diagnosed patients experience fatigue before being diagnosed. However, experts have yet to determine the relationship between liver failure severity and fatigue severity. The present data show contradicting results: patients with early-stage cirrhosis may experience extreme fatigue, while patients with severe cirrhosis may feel just a little tired from time to time.