What Are the Symptoms of Cirrhosis?

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on May 28, 2023
1 min read

Cirrhosis takes a long time to develop. You could have it for years without any symptoms.

When you do get symptoms, they’ll depend on how far along the cirrhosis is.


The early signs can be the same as those of other diseases, so it’s important to talk to your doctor when you have them. They can include:

  • Increased abdominal girth from ascites
  • Swelling in your ankles or legs
  • Blood vessels that look like spiders on your chest, face, or arms
  • Feeling very tired
  • Gynecomastia
  • Poor appetite
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Loss of muscle

If you don’t get treatment for the cause of your cirrhosis, it’ll get worse. The symptoms will get worse, too.

They might include:

Go to the emergency room if:

  • Your stools are black or like tar.
  • You are vomiting blood.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • You feel very confused and sleepy.
  • You have a high fever and can’t stop shaking.
  • The whites of your eyes suddenly turn yellow.

Show Sources


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “Viral Hepatitis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Cirrhosis of the Liver.”

University of California San Francisco Medical Center: “Cirrhosis: Signs and Symptoms.”

British Liver Foundation: “Cirrhosis of the Liver.”

American Liver Foundation: “Cirrhosis.”

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