As the liver fails, complications may develop. In some people, complications may be the first signs of the disease. Complications of cirrhosis may include the following:
Portal Hypertension:The portal vein carries blood from the stomach, intestines, spleen, gallbladder, and pancreas to the liver. In cirrhosis, scar tissue partially blocks the normal flow of blood, which increases the pressure in the portal vein. This condition is called portal hypertension. Portal hypertension is a common complication of cirrhosis. This condition may lead to other complications, such as fluid buildup leading to edema and ascites, enlarged blood vessels, called varices, in the esophagus, stomach, or both an enlarged spleen, called splenomegaly & mental confusion due to a buildup of toxins that are ordinarily removed by the liver, a condition called hepatic encephalopathy
Ascites: Liver failure causes fluid buildup that results in edema and ascites. Ascites can lead to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Elastography: Elastography is also called liver stiffness measurement, uses either ultrasound or MRI to measure the stiffness of the liver. Scar tissue increases the stiffness of the liver. Elastography can show how much scarring is present with some reliability.
Bleeding (Varices): Portal hypertension may cause enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus, stomach, or both. These enlarged blood vessels, called esophageal or gastric varices, cause the vessel walls to become thin and blood pressure to increase, making the blood vessels more likely to burst. If they burst, serious bleeding can occur in the esophagus or upper stomach, requiring immediate medical attention.
Splenomegaly: Portal hypertension may cause the spleen to enlarge and retain white blood cells and platelets, reducing the numbers of these cells and platelets in the blood. A low platelet count may be the first evidence that a person has developed cirrhosis.
Abnormal Behaviour: Its medically known as Hepatic encephalopathy. A failing liver cannot remove toxins from the blood, so they eventually accumulate in the brain. The buildup of toxins in the brain is called hepatic encephalopathy. This condition can decrease mental function and cause stupor and even coma. Stupor is an unconscious, sleeplike state from which a person can only be aroused briefly by a strong stimulus, such as a sharp pain. Coma is an unconscious, sleeplike state from which a person cannot be aroused. Signs of decreased mental function include confusion, personality changes, memory loss, trouble concentrating & a change in sleep habits
Metabolic bone diseases: Some people with cirrhosis develop a metabolic bone disease, which is a disorder of bone strength usually caused by abnormalities of vitamin D, bone mass, bone structure, or minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous. Osteopenia is a condition in which the bones become less dense, making them weaker. When bone loss becomes more severe, the condition is referred to as osteoporosis. People with these conditions are more likely to develop bone fractures.
Gallstones and bile duct stones: If cirrhosis prevents bile from flowing freely to and from the gallbladder, the bile hardens into gallstones. Symptoms of gallstones include abdominal pain and recurrent bacterial cholangitis—irritated or infected bile ducts. Stones may also form in and block the bile ducts, causing pain, jaundice, and bacterial cholangitis.
Bruising and bleeding: When the liver slows the production of or stops producing the proteins needed for blood clotting, a person will bruise or bleed easily.
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: Cirrhosis causes resistance to insulin. The pancreas tries to keep up with the demand for insulin by producing more; however, extra glucose builds up in the bloodstream, causing type 2 diabetes.
Liver cancer: Liver cancer is common in people with cirrhosis. Liver cancer has a high mortality rate. Current treatments are limited and only fully successful if a health care provider detects the cancer early, before the tumor is too large. For this reason, health care providers should check people with cirrhosis for signs of liver cancer every 6 to 12 months. Health care providers use blood tests, ultrasound, or both to check for signs of liver cancer.
Other complications: Cirrhosis can cause immune system dysfunction, leading to an increased chance of infection. Cirrhosis can also cause kidney and lung failure, known as hepatorenal and hepatopulmonary syndromes.