caret icon Back to all discussions

Stage 4 diagnosis but normal functioning liver?

Hi Everyone! My mom was just diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease. Her doctor explained the damage to her liver in the same way a car, that’s been in an accident and has a smashed up hood and body, can still drive normally. It’s covered in cirrhosis but the liver itself is functioning normally. What’s hard to swallow is that less than 5yrs she had a liver biopsy that just showed signs of fatty liver, in such a short time it’s exceled to a stage 4 diagnosis?! Her doc believes it’s because of an underlying auto immune disorder... The research seems to say that this disease doesn’t deteriorate the liver this quickly, but maybe if the AA discorder is a factor it can? Her treatment so far is a heavy dose of steroids... has anyone else had a similar experience? Thanks so much for any advice/responses!

  1. Every cause of Hepatitis has a different pace, and there are tons of other personal health factors which can play a role.
    Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease(NAFLD) and it's harsher form: Non-Alcoholic Stereo-Hepatitis (NASH) aren't my area of expertise, contrary to my namesake.

    But in my case my liver damaged progressed rapidly over six years. at 22 I had very few symptoms and minimal f1 cirrhosis, at 24, things started to get a little rough and I was assigned a MELD score and by 28 most of my symptoms were incredibly hard to manage, even medically.

    For reference I was born with Hep C.

    I hope your mom is able to get the transplant she needs, if she ends up needing one! Also remember that liver transplantation is one of the few areas where living donors are sometimes possible.

    -Rick Nash (Six Time Treatment Dragon Slayer and Transplant Recipient )

    1. This is my first post/question. I was diagnosed with Hep C in 2001. Over the years, I've done 3 treatments. Two of them with interferon and last was olysio(which cured my virus). I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cirrhosis in 2013. I haven't had a drink since then. My Dr says my liver is functioning normally, but I have swollen spleen, portal hypertension, low platelets, and so on.... The question I need answered, if at all possible, is about rectal bleeding. It happens 2 or 3 times a week. Does anyone else have this issue and what causes it? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

      1. Hi Ilovedylan and thanks for posting. Rectal bleeding can be caused by a number of things such as hemorrhoids, fissures, abdominal varices, colon issues etc. What has your liver specialist (or gastroenterologist) said about this? Have you had a colonoscopy recently? I’m thankful you’re cured and liver numbers are good. It does sound like you’re uncomfortable. What is your doc doing about the portal hypertension? I’m sorry I don’t have more to add but I definitely think you deserve to get answers my friend. I’m also cirrhotic; we do run into special issues huh? A thorough assessment by a specialist seems in order. I’m hopeful that there’s an easy answer such as hemorrhoids. Please talk to your doc ok? And please stay connected for support and to let us know how you make out. I also hope someone who has experienced the same will jump in here. With much care, Randy, Community Moderator

        1. Good advice, Randy. I had to have a stent placed in my portal vein. I also had to have two esophageal bleeding varices tied off. While I did not have rectal bleeding, I had black tarry stools because my entire gastric system was full of blood. This member definitely needs for his doctor to find the source of the blood and to look at the portal hypertension. These are not symptoms to be ignored.

      2. , I totally agree and don’t know what procedure/evaluation this poster had. Unfortunately, did not hear back and hopefully she/he is okay! Did you have a TIPS procedure? I’m thankful you had good physician oversight as blood is definitely not always a symptom of portal hypertension or variceal bleeding. How long ago was this and how are you doing now? I’m sure you’re scoped/monitored regularly which I’m overdue for now 🙁 Thanks so for writing and please stay connected and share your lived experience often. It makes a difference! Stay well my friend.
        With care, Randy, Community Moderator

        Please read our rules before posting.