Cirrhosis is the term used for the end stage of liver disease. There are many causes of Cirrhosis, and there is no cure for the disease, although there are treatments that can slow it down, and help to prolong life. Liver disease is when the tissue of the liver is scarred and this keeps the liver from being able to do what it does best which is to clear toxins from the body.
In the final stages of cirrhosis, portal hypertension can cause bleeding into the instestines. Portal hypertension is when the blood vessels in your liver are under too much pressure.
This is another symptom of being in the last stages of cirrhosis. Hepatic encephalopathy is when toxins build up in the bloodstream because your liver is unable to get rid of them. Consequently, you can become confused, and as such unable to care for yourself or anyone else.
If you are in the final stages of cirrhosis, you are at risk for a lot of infections. The reason for this is that, when fluid builds up in the abdomen and becomes infected, your liver cannot produce the proteins needed to fight infections.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is also caused by portal hypertension and can create bleeding in the varicose veins of the esophagus. This type of bleeding can be life-threatening if not treated.
Ascites simply means fluid that is built up in the abdomen. This is when Portal Hypertension causes the blood in the blood vessels of the liver to be forced out and then pool in the abdomen. Once several liters of blood have pooled in your belly, you can have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling, headache, and dehydration.
Fluid retention is another final stage symptom of cirrhosis. This is when your liver thinks that you are dehydrated because fluid is pooling in your belly, and so it tries to hang onto more water. Eventually you will have excess fluid in your lungs and legs, as well as your abdomen.