Weakness and tiredness are also known as fatigue and can be attributed to many things ranging from a bad night’s sleep to something more sinister. Fatigue is different to normal sleepiness, as it’s characterized by a physical and mental lack of energy and motivation and a decrease in the ability to exert oneself.
Though fatigue is the most common symptom of liver disease, it’s not yet known why. Experimental studies suggest that fatigue is the result of neurotransmission changes in the brain, which can occur when excess fluid collects in the skull – another early sign of liver disease.
Fatigue is a symptom of liver disease because a compromised liver will not be able to adequately provide energy to the body. The liver is the main factor in the prevention of fatigue, and those with liver damage will likely have a weakened immune system and uncontrollable stress, both of which can add to feelings of weakness and tiredness.
Many different factors contribute to fatigue, like drugs and alcohol, stress, depression, poor nutrition, dehydration, impaired immune system and certain medical treatments. For those with liver disease, fatigue is likely to be the most prevalent symptom.