SOME WAYS YOUR BODY TRIES TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR LIVER IS BEING DAMAGED
The liver is a vital organ of the body and the largest solid organ in the body whose main function is to eliminate harmful toxins from the body.
It is located on the upper right side of the abdomen, partially covered by the ribs.
It is susceptible to more than a hundred types of complaints, and some liver-related diseases are fatty liver disease, hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
Each of the liver-related diseases can cause specific symptoms. However, in the early stages of development, they all affect the liver in a similar way.
To avoid serious health problems, you should therefore learn about the early signs of liver damage and restore its proper function.
These are the most common early signs of liver damage:
- Frequent Cramps And Abdominal Pain
The pain felt in the upper right abdominal region below the ribcage may be an early sign of liver damage. The area may also be sensitive to touch.
- Loss Of Appetite
One of the functions of the liver is to produce bile, which breaks down the food we eat. If the function of the liver is impaired, bile production is reduced, which leads to a poor metabolism and thus to a feeling of satiety.
- Digestive Issues
The bile promotes digestion, so if the function of the liver is impaired, digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion can occur.
- Frequent Stomach Upset
In case of frequent stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, a person should have a liver examination. Nausea is often caused by a toxic deposit, as the liver cannot excrete it properly.
- Changed Color Of the Urine
If the color of your urine changes even though you drink enough water, you may have liver problems. This is because the kidneys produce bilirubin levels in the bloodstream, which may be too high for the liver to remove. The dark colour of the urine can also be the result of antibiotic therapy, taking vitamin B supplements or dehydration.
- Changed Feces color
Your liver can be damaged if the faeces are light yellow, clayey or grey in colour, as the dark brown colour is caused by the bile produced by the liver.
- Constipation, Diarrhea And Intestinal Bleeding
Liver damage can also lead to constipation, diarrhoea and even intestinal bleeding. If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- Fluid retention
In the case of liver damage, there is often swelling of the feet and ankles due to the accumulation of fluid in the body.
- Stomach bloating
Flatulence in the stomach is a common symptom of liver damage and even cirrhosis of the liver, as fluids begin to collect in the stomach.
- Tiredness, Weakness, And Fatigue
Even if you get the necessary rest, if your liver is damaged, you will feel constantly tired. This is because toxins begin to accumulate in the bloodstream, interfering with the flow of blood to other parts of the body and organs such as the brain, heart, tissues and muscles.
- Increased risk of Jaundice
Even if you get the necessary rest, if your liver is damaged, you will feel constantly tired. This is because toxins accumulate in the bloodstream and impede the flow of blood to other parts of the body and organs such as the brain, heart, tissues and muscles.
- Persistent Skin Irritation
Other common symptoms of liver problems are sensitive skin, itching, touch-sensitive skin, and even more prominent veins. If you are experiencing some of these problems, it is advisable to consult your doctor for a correct diagnosis of the cause.
- Your sleep patterns are inconsistent.
There are many things that can disrupt your sleep pattern, but a 2012 study published in the Egyptian Journal of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis found that one possible culprit is cirrhosis of the liver, which can make it particularly difficult to get a good night’s sleep – even if you count sleep as if it were your job. If it turns out that your liver is fine and you are still having trouble dozing off, read the 20 life-changing tips for people who are desperate for a good night’s sleep.
- Your memory isn’t at its sharpest.
Forgetting where you left your car keys is one thing, but if your memory has become much worse recently, there could be a reason for it. If you are suffering from liver failure, your organ cannot properly remove the toxins from the blood, and this can lead to them accumulating in the brain acacia hepatic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, one of the consequences is memory loss.
- Your skin itches.
Primary biliary cholangitis – a chronic disease that destroys the bile ducts in the liver according to the Mayo Clinic – usually does not have any noticeable symptoms, but an early sign is itching of the skin. Sure, your skin might just be dry, but if it becomes a regular thing, it might be worth getting checked – especially because itchy skin is also an indicator of cirrhosis of the liver, says the Cleveland Clinic.
- You notice the yellowing of your eyes or skin.
Seeing the whites of your eyes begin to turn yellow – or experience a yellowing of your skin – can be incredibly frightening, but there is a solid explanation: it is called jaundice and is caused by high levels of bilirubin in the body, a yellowish pigment that the Cleveland Clinic says is excreted by the liver. If you notice the discolouration, it could be caused by many different signs of liver damage, from cirrhosis to hepatitis B.
- You experience sudden weight gain.
If you suddenly gain weight out of the blue, it could be your liver that is to blame. It could be a sign that you have cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that develops slowly and replaces healthy liver tissue with scar tissue, which blocks the flow of blood through the liver and stops the organ from working properly.
- Your palms turn red.
Speaking of red flags, do you suddenly have red palms for no reason? It could be due to a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease in which, according to the Mayo Clinic, too much fat is stored in the liver cells and affects people who drink little or no alcohol.
- Your breasts become enlarged.
One of the most shocking warning signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the enlargement of the breasts when you are a man. It is a very confusing event, but there is an explanation. It is thought that the growth of excess breast tissue -aka gynaecomastia- is caused by an imbalance in the hormones oestrogen and testosterone.
- Your notice changes in your personality.
It can be frightening to experience changes in your personality, and sometimes others may notice it before you do. Just as hepatic encephalopathy can cause memory loss, all the toxins that accumulate in your brain can also affect mental function, so that you no longer behave like yourself.
- You bruise easily.
As you get older, your body can bruise more easily because your skin becomes thinner. But if there really is no explanation for why there are more spots on your body (which means that you are relatively young), this could be one of the signs of liver damage. Liver disease can also mean that it is more common, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- You experience swelling of your legs or ankles.
According to the Mayo Clinic, liver disease can be caused by anything from alcohol consumption to obesity, and a common warning sign is something you probably would not expect: Swelling in the legs and ankles. If you are suffering from the swelling and are not sure why, a visit to your doctor might be useful to make sure it is not serious.
- You are easily confused.
Unfortunately, hepatic encephalopathy caused by liver failure can also affect your ability to understand things. This can make you feel confused about things that you would not normally feel confused about.
- You have more aches and pains than usual.
You have not trained more than usual, so what is there for all your physical pain? One possible reason is primary biliary cholangitis, which can cause bone, muscle or joint pain as well as itchy skin.
- You regularly get the chills.
Do you have a chronic case of chills that no amount of cuddly blankets can cure? It could be a sign of cholestasis during liver disease, which, according to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, occurs when the organ’s bile flow is reduced or stopped altogether.
- Your eyes or mouth are dry.
There are many different reasons for dry eyes or a dry mouth – from your age to the medications you are taking – but a possible culprit is far more serious. Primary biliary cholangitis is known as the cause of the problem, says the Mayo Clinic, but fortunately it is an early symptom of the chronic disease.