Symptoms

LIVER PROBLEMS

Cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Easily bleeding or bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles (edema)
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Fluid accumulation in your abdomen (ascites)
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin
  • Redness in the palms of the hands
  • For women, absent or loss of periods not related to menopause
  • For men, loss of sex drive, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) or testicular atrophy
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)

 

Jaundice Common symptoms include:

  • a yellow tinge to the skin and the whites of the eyes, normally starting at the head and spreading down the body
  • pale stools
  • dark urine
  • itchiness
  • Accompanying symptoms of jaundice resulting from low bilirubin levels include:
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • pale stools
  • dark urine

 

Ascites is usually accompanied by a feeling of fullness, a ballooning belly, and rapid weight gain. Other symptoms often include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in legs and ankles
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Hernia

HEPATITIS

The most common symptoms of hepatitis are things like:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in your belly
  • Some people have other issues, such as:
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Itchy feeling
  • Mental changes, such as stupor (being in a daze) or coma
  • Bleeding inside your body

INFLAMMATORY BOWL DISEASE

Crohn's Disease When the disease is active, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood in your stool
  • Mouth sores
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Pain or drainage near or around the anus due to inflammation from a tunnel into the skin (fistula)
  • Other signs and symptoms
  • People with severe Crohn's disease also may experience:
  • Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
  • Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
  • Delayed growth or sexual development, in children

 

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding — passing small amount of blood with stool
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Inability to defecate despite urgency
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • In children, failure to grow

Most people with ulcerative colitis have mild to moderate symptoms. The course of ulcerative colitis may vary, with some people having long periods of remission.

 

Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) symptoms vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. You are likely to have periods of active illness followed by periods of remission.

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

PANCREATITIS

Acute pancreatitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
  • Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen
  • Chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms include
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)

BILIARY PROBLEMS

Common early symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Later signs and symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Swelling of the spleen
  • Bone, muscle or joint (musculoskeletal) pain
  • Swollen feet and ankles (edema)
  • Buildup of fluid in the abdomen due to liver failure (ascites)
  • Fatty deposits (xanthomas) on the skin around the eyes, eyelids or in the creases of the palms, soles, elbows or knees
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Darkening of the skin that's not related to sun exposure (hyperpigmentation)
  • Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis), which can lead to fractures
  • High cholesterol
  • Diarrhea, which may include greasy stools (steatorrhea)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Weight loss

LIVER MASS

Most people don't have signs and symptoms in the early stages of primary liver cancer. When signs and symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • Losing weight without trying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools

ESOPHAGEAL MASS

People with esophageal cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with esophageal cancer do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.

Difficulty and pain with swallowing, particularly when eating meat, bread, or raw vegetables. As the tumor grows, it can block the pathway to the stomach. Even liquid may be painful to swallow.

  • Pressure or burning in the chest
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent choking on food
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing or hoarseness

PANCREATIC MASS

Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don't occur until the disease is advanced. They may include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to your back
  • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
  • Depression
  • New-onset diabetes
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

COLON MASS

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

HEMORRHOIDS

External Hemorrhoids

These are under the skin around your anus. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Itching or irritation in your anal region
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Bleeding

Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum. You usually can't see or feel them, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining or irritation when passing stool can cause:

Painless bleeding during bowel movements. You might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet.

A hemorrhoid to push through the anal opening (prolapsed or protruding hemorrhoid), resulting in pain and irritation.

Thrombosed Hemorrhoids

If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), it can result in:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • A hard lump near your anus

DIVERTICULOSIS

The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Pain, which may be constant and persist for several days. The lower left side of the abdomen is the usual site of the pain. Sometimes, however, the right side of the abdomen is more painful, especially in people of Asian descent.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Constipation or, less commonly, diarrhea

IBS

The signs and symptoms of IBS vary. The most common include:

  • Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is typically relieved or partially relieved by passing a bowel movement
  • Excess gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
  • Mucus in the stool

GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GERD)

Common signs and symptoms of GERD include:

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat
  • If you have nighttime acid reflux, you might also experience:
  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngitis
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Disrupted sleep

DYSPHAGIA

Signs and symptoms associated with dysphagia may include:

  • Having pain while swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Being unable to swallow
  • Having the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat or chest or behind your breastbone (sternum)
  • Drooling
  • Being hoarse
  • Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
  • Having frequent heartburn
  • Having food or stomach acid back up into your throat
  • Unexpectedly losing weight
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • Having to cut food into smaller pieces or avoiding certain foods because of trouble swallowing

GASTROPARESIS

Signs and symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • A feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites
  • Vomiting undigested food eaten a few hours earlier
  • Acid reflux
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss and malnutrition

BARRETT’S SYNDROME

Barrett's esophagus is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Although the risk is small, it's important to have regular checkups for precancerous cells (dysplasia). If precancerous cells are discovered, they can be treated to prevent esophageal cancer.

The tissue changes that characterize Barrett's esophagus cause no symptoms. The signs and symptoms that you experience are generally due to GERD and may include:

  • Frequent heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Less commonly, chest pain

FATTY LIVER DISEASE

There are two main forms of fatty liver disease:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver: Fat buildup in the liver that is not linked to drinking alcohol.

Alcoholic fatty liver: Fat buildup in the liver due to drinking large amounts of alcohol (more than one drink per day on average for women and more than two drinks per day on average for men).

People with fatty liver disease usually do not have any symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • A feeling of fullness in the middle or upper right side of the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • Swelling of the abdomen and legs (edema)
  • Mental confusion
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness

ELEVATED LIVER ENZYMES

Elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, which can result in elevated liver enzymes on blood tests.

The specific elevated liver enzymes most commonly found are:

  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)

Elevated liver enzymes may be discovered during routine blood testing. In most cases, liver enzyme levels are only mildly and temporarily elevated. Most of the time, elevated liver enzymes don't signal a chronic, serious liver problem.

Other Symptoms That May Require Attention

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Colon Consult