10. Muscle Wasting
People with advanced liver disease will often develop muscle wasting, or another associated condition called Dupuytren’s Contracture, in which the tendons in the hands shrink, the fingers curl, and muscle tremors (or uncontrolled shaking) set in. This wasting away of the muscles comes from the liver’s diminished ability to metabolize proteins, and can also make the patient more susceptible to fractures and bone breaks.
Patients will not normally experience these symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced and serious stage. However, it is usually preceded by rapid and unexplained weight loss, which in and of itself can have numerous causes. If you notice that you’re losing a lot of weight and haven’t made any major changes to your diet or exercise routines, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor to find out what’s going on. Remember that weight loss isn’t always a good thing, and can signal the presence of an underlying disease or medical condition.