Chronic Fatigue in Liver Disease

If you are reading this you probably came to this site because you have some kind of liver disease. We have lots of help for you on our website but this blog is about you helping other people with liver disease if you can. We are well aware of the problems of chronic fatigue experienced by our members and expect that you have similar problems. Please let us know about it. We are working on a leaflet that hopefully will become the definitive guide to fatigue in liver patients and would love to have your feedback. How do you feel when you wake after a good night's sleep? How do you cope when you just can't do anything more and are overwhelmingly tired? Does anything work for you? How do you explain your fatigue to doctors (who are often dismissive)? Have you any keywords you use with your partner of friends so that they know you have to lie down? Have you anything else to tell us that may help us inform others about this very real condition? Please use this blog to respond....


4 Replies

I have Nash which has progressed to cirohiss which drs call chronic liver disease, I also have portal hypertension, varices, and mild HE, I lost 5 pints of blood due to massive GI bleed in Feb 2013 and thankfully pulled through, my life has changed dramatically since then some good ( lucky to be alive) but also suffer from extreme anxiety and from time to time chronic fatigue, its a feeling you try to fight and go out and sometimes it works, othertimes it is not so easy and you have to rest, I also find it difficult to sleep when this fatigue hits, really I just wait for it to pass sometimes a day or two I am seeing gastroenterolgist in June and will bring this up again but all they say its the liver. Angse

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To be honest the fatigue for me is very swift, practically knocks you off your feet, you can only rest when this occurs, you can struggle around for a while, but sooner or later you have to rest, I do read a bit, when can't sleep, but do try to remain in bed otherwise nights blend into days, and your worse off if you stay up at night, at least I am,it is very difficult and stressful to explain to doctors as they really don't understand what you are going through, I have been told, well you do have liver disease, as if that makes it OK, all I can say is make the most of your active days, and even do things if poss on your not so good days, and keep as well as you can ,,Angse


As a 51 yr old with PBC, a demanding job, I am honestly confused re why I'm so tired as could be any or all of these. I truly am exhausted a lot of the time and have significant mental fatigue at end of day. My PBC is early stage and all my LFT s are good withexceptiom of GGT which is elevated. I try not to focus on PBC too much and li e a normal life trying to be healthy in lifestyle and nutrition, drinking socially on occasion. I find it hard to describe as most people and Physicians dismiss it as not any different than someone without PBC. It doesn't help that it is a cardinal symptom of my condition but exists even if all labs and liver function is normal. I quit talking or asking about it for this reason. I'd be interested in hear g if others feel similar.


It's a very common symptom of liver disease and unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about it at present. We are funding some research to look at gentle exercise and fatigue - early indications are that it helps reduce liver fat but it's not having any impact on the fatigue itself. For this reason alone, it may be worth trying. Patients often refer to waking up after a good night's sleep and still feeling bone weary and the last thing they want to do is exercise.

I know it's not much help but knowing that others are feeling exactly the same may help. Physicians commonly mistake this kind of chronic fatigue with general fatigue and they need to be told that it's real, it's present all the time and their understanding would be much appreciated.

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