Some signs often occur in children with ongoing (chronic) liver disease. These are not urgent. They can often be treated during your child’s regular healthcare provider or clinic visits. The signs may include:
Bone fractures. These can occur more easily when a child has liver disease. This is because liver disease can lead to a decrease in thickness of bones (bone density). If your child breaks a bone, he or she needs medical care right away. But a fracture doesn’t need to be reported to your child’s liver healthcare provider until the next office visit.
Itchy skin. This can occur due to a buildup of bile in the body.
Loss of appetite. This can occur due to liver disease. It may lead to the body not getting enough of the nutrients it needs (malnutrition).
Pale stools. These can be a
sign that the liver is not making or releasing bilirubin, which normally colors
the stools. Pale stools can also be due to liver infection or inflammation.
The color is
a gray or clay color. Pale stools are also called acholic
Easy bleeding and bruising. This may happen due to a lack of vitamin K, or if the liver can’t use the vitamin K it has.
A child with chronic liver disease may also have signs of malnutrition. This may occur because the liver isn’t processing nutrients. A child with malnutrition may have:
Poor growth or weight loss, because the liver can’t help the body use fat normally
Rickets, a disease that causes not enough tissue in the bone (low bone density). Signs of rickets in infants include weakness. Older children may be bowlegged or have ribs that feel very bumpy where they meet the breastbone (sternum).