The human liver is an important bodily organ essential for living a healthy life. Its primary function is to break down nutrients from the food we eat and help with digestion. It performs several other functions which make it important to pay attention to the health of your liver.
Here are symptoms of liver damage that should be taken seriously:
Warning Sign # 1 – Skin discoloration – Jaundice
Jaundice is common for someone having problems with their liver because of elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin has a yellowish pigment and normally flows through the liver where it is then moved through the digestive tract and eliminated. When the yellow pigment is not removed, it is circulated throughout the body and it is commonly indicative of some type of liver disease. There is no mistaking the effects of jaundice–elevated bilirubin in the blood causes people with jaundice to have yellow tinted skin and eyes. People with jaundice may also experience darker urine and lighter colored stools.
Warning Sign # 2 – Skin sensitivity
Another of the early signs of liver problems, and again associated with your skin, is when it becomes itchy or oversensitive to the touch. Keeping the skin moisturized will help, but the condition will continue and will probably worsen until the underlying cause (the problem with the liver) is identified and addressed.
Warning Sign # 3 – Changes in the color of Urine and/or Stools
When our liver starts getting damaged the color of urine changes to darker variants of yellow. It may also become bloody or tar-colored. Some think this change in color is due to dehydration if you are ingesting sufficient fluids it indicates poor liver health.
Warning Sign # 4 – Changes in the Abdominal Area
Changes taking place in your abdominal area is another of the possible symptoms of liver problems. It may begin with experiencing pain or cramps in the lower abdominal area. This can quickly be transformed into feeling blown out with gas. If left unaddressed a condition known as Ascites may develop.
Ascites is the name given to a condition whereby there is a buildup of fluid in the wall of your abdomen. This can lead to pressure being exerted on the lungs, which will cause difficulty in breathing. If this condition does occur, you may well have to undergo a Paracentesis, a medical process whereby a needle or catheter will be inserted in your peritoneum cavity in order to drain off the fluid.
Warning Sign # 5 – Feelings of fatigue
If you frequently suffer from a gassy sensation accompanied by stool pressure it’s an indication that the liver is not able to secrete digestive juices which are essential to break down food. It also means the digestive system is affected by liver problems, so you should immediately go and see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Warning Sign # 6 – Acid Reflux and Vomiting
Another of the early signs of liver problems is experiencing frequent indigestion and acid reflux, which can lead to bouts of vomiting.
Warning Sign # 7 – Loss of Appetite
When liver damage is left untreated, it will progress into liver disease. If it remains undiagnosed and unmanaged for an extended period of time, increasingly serious symptoms will result. Significant changes in appetite which result in dramatic, rapid weight loss are one such symptom. This is considered to be a sign of fairly advanced liver disease, which is life-threatening in and of itself, to say nothing of the many potential health problems that can be caused by malnutrition.
Warning Sign # 8 – Retaining Fluids
Fluid retention can also be a tell-tale sign that you have liver disease. It affects the lower legs, ankles, and feet, which become swollen. When the swollen skin is pressed down, an imprint will be left for a few seconds after the pressure is released.
Warning Sign # 9 – Diarrhea
Because the liver plays such an important part in the digestion process, if it begins to malfunction, this can result in diarrhea.
Warning Sign # 10 – Feeling generally unwell
Because the liver plays such a vital role in our body’s ability to rid itself of toxins, a build up of toxins due to a poorly functioning liver can affect our bodies in many ways. This toxic buildup can show itself through the symptoms listed above, but can also cause more vague feelings of being unwell. If you have strange symptoms or feel under the weather for no apparent reason for an unusual length of time, it could be a sign of a poorly functioning liver.
Unfortunately, many liver diseases can go undetected and do not show symptoms for many years. Because of this, it is important to take proper care of your liver and be aware of any abnormal changes to your body. Regular check-ups with your doctor, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, eating a well-balanced diet, and regular exercise will help to keep your body and your liver healthy.