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Can cirrhosis lead to weakness?

Q: I was detected to have jaundice when the bilirubin was 5mg/dl and thsi rose to 28mg/dl in 6 days. I was admitted and was on bed rest for 4 months with strict diet control. My doctor advised me to join my duty but within 7 days I again applied for leave as I was feeling very weak. I have lost 14 kg during this time and my last LFT shows bilirubin to be 1.1. I have diabetes too for the last 4 years. Cirrhosis of the liver was also detected due to alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Will I be able to recover my strength?

A:I note that you have been diagnosed to have cirrhosis secondary to alcoholic liver disease, (ALD). Your episode of jaundice late last year was most likely due to the liver cells not being able to cope well. This could happen due to several causes, but most important and common causes are infection and of course, alcohol intake. The fact that you have improved suggests that your liver cells are functioning adequately now and you have recovered. Your weakness is very likely to be due to under nutrition, a common feature in cirrhosis. I therefore suggest a good well balanced diet to include carbohydrates and protein as well as vitamins with a daily calorie intake of around 2000 calories. It is also important that your diabetes is kept under control. I suggest you consult a dietitian.


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