Compensated cirrhosis means that the liver is still able to cope with or compensate for the damage and carry out most (sometimes all) of its functions. Cirrhosis, as with fibrosis, ranges from mild (at the beginning) to moderate and severe. Severe cirrhosis can then progress to decompensated cirrhosis. The rate of progression of cirrhosis is different in different people but is not apparently related to genotype. Progression is effected by similar factors to fibrosis but at this stage the effect of alcohol on liver damage is even greater.
Many people do not experience symptoms once they have developed compensated cirrhosis that differ from those they may have had during the chronic phase of the disease. Many people experience no symptoms at all. In general people with well-compensated cirrhosis have normal liver function for serum albumin, clotting factors and bilirubin and even sometimes normal liver enzymes. There is also no evidence of portal hypertension. But over time without treatment compensated cirrhosis does seem to progress inevitably to decompensated cirrhosis. For some people this may take many years and they may well die from other unrelated causes before that time. From the studies so far it appears that on average 18% of people with compensated cirrhosis will progress to decompensated cirrhosis after 5 years and that after ten years the rate will be 29%.
As with the chronic stage of hepatitis C peoples experiences and symptoms during compensated cirrhosis will vary significantly.
The following is a list of symptoms that are more specifically associated with compensated cirrhosis, (and this can be on top of any of the other symptoms that can be experienced with hepatitis C). It doesn’t mean however that you will necessarily experience them or that if you do, that it means you have cirrhosis.
• Tiredness and weakness (This may result from insufficient nutrients being processed by the liver)
• Loss of appetite.
• Nausea and vomiting.
• A build-up of fluid in the legs and abdomen.
• Weight loss.
• The tendency to bruise easily.
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the white of the eyes).
• Sensitivity to drugs due to reduced ability of the liver to inactivate them
this was taken from http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/The+Liver/Compensated+cirrhosis