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Decompensated Cirrhosis

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Decompensated Cirrhosis

Decompensated cirrhosis is the stage that comes after compensated cirrhosis. At this point, your liver has too much scarring and you develop complications.

Your doctor will know you have decompensated cirrhosis if you show signs of one or more of these conditions:

Jaundice. It's caused when your liver can't get rid of bilirubin, a blood waste product, which can make your skin and eyes yellow.

Ascites. Fluid buildup in your belly.

Bleeding varices. Varices are enlarged blood vessels. Signs that you have bleeding varices are black, tarry, or bloody stools or throwing up blood. This is an emergency that needs treatment right away.

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Toxins can build up in your brain and make you confused and very tired, and have trouble doing daily activities like driving or writing.

Your liver disease can also lead to a kidney disease called hepatorenal syndrome, a lung disease called hepatopulmonary syndrome, and liver cancer.

Treatment will focus on stopping complications from getting worse. You'll have tests to keep track of and help treat your health problems, and your doctor will prescribe medicines to help you feel better and handle your daily life more easily.

What you can do to take care of yourself:

Eat a low-salt diet if you have ascites.
Eat a high-protein, high-calorie diet to help your liver work.
Take a diuretic (a water pill) if your doctor prescribes one to help manage ascites.
Take medicine your doctor prescribes if you have constipation (trouble moving your bowels).
Drink enough fluids even if you have ascites so you don't get dehydrated.
Get shots for flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis A and B.
Don't take pain pills like ibuprofen, especially if you have ascites.
Your doctor may talk to you about getting a liver transplant if treatment isn't working. It's major surgery where your liver is replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor

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