The liver is the largest solid organ in your body. It is located in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen and partly protected by the ribs. You need your liver for many important bodily functions and cannot live without your liver. For this reason, you should know the early signs of liver damage and take care of your liver as much as you possibly can.
12 Early Signs of Liver Damage
There are more than a hundred different kinds of diseases of the liver. Each has its own set of symptoms. Some of these diseases include alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. The early signs of liver disease tend to be easily overlooked and are non-specific, related to any number of different conditions. Here are some common early signs.
1. Upset Stomach
Vomiting and nausea are some of the most common symptoms. Still, these symptoms often can mimic some other diseases such as food poisoning, migraines, motion sickness, vertigo, vomiting, depression and early pregnancy. Additionally, they can even mimic kidney issues. Those patients who have liver damage usually have issues with persistent nausea, due to the fact that the liver’s ability to eliminate toxins is reduced. However, the nausea can be caused by the constant changes in digestion and metabolism. If you experience such symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
2.Weakness and Fatigue
One of the early and obvious symptoms of liver damage is weakness and constant tiredness. Damaged liver causes the body to work harder, therefore requiring more rest. This is due to the inability of liver to eliminate toxins from the blood. If you have these symptoms for a longer period, consult a doctor.
3.Loss of Appetite
Not enough bile means loss of appetite. The bile helps in fat digestion, and when the food is not properly digested, you have reduced appetite and drastic loss of weight.
4.Problems with Digestion
The liver is crucial for digestion as it produces bile. If this organ is damaged, it can cause indigestion and diarrhea. What’s more, bile deficiency can cause irritable bowel syndrome, fatty food intolerance, alcohol intolerance, gallstones, abdominal bloating, and constipation.
5. Changes in urine color
The increased levels of bilirubin in the blood cause the urine to have an orange, amber, or brown color. The bilirubin levels increase because the liver is unable to remove it and it is instead removed through the urine.
6. Changes in stool color
When there is lack of bile, the color of the stool can change and instead of the normal brown color, it can be yellow, gray, or clay colored. If this condition is temporary, it isn’t dangerous. However, if it occurs all the time, you need medical attention.
Jaundice is a yellow coloration to the skin, tongue, fingertips, and eyes. Jaundice is from an increase in bilirubin in the bloodstream and in the bodily tissue that would normally be excreted in the bile. Bilirubin builds up when old red blood cells are broken down inside the liver. It causes the skin to become yellow. Jaundice can also mean you have a problem with the pancreas or gallbladder, so you should seek medical attention as soon as you can if you develop this symptom.
8. Abdominal Changes
If you experience pain or cramping in the lower part of the abdomen or feel especially bloated, this can mean that you have ascites and a malfunctioning liver. Ascites is one of the early signs of liver damage and basically means that fluid has built up inside the abdominal cavity. It can happen whenever there is damage to the liver or liver cirrhosis.
You often get portal hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the arteries and veins of the abdomen from liver disease. You can also get ascites from disorders unrelated to the liver, so you should seek medical attention if you develop this symptom.
9. Fluid Retention
One of the early signs and symptoms of liver damage is fluid retention, especially in the ankles and feet. This is similar to ascites except the fluid is building up in the outer tissues in the lower extremities. There are many other causes of fluid retention, including kidney problems, hormonal imbalances, heart failure and lymphatic disease. You should always see your doctor in order to find out the cause of it.
10. Increase in Skin Itching
Liver deficiency can cause the skin to be more sensitive, itches, flakes and becomes hypersensitive to touch. You may see some bruises on your skin and notice that your veins become more visible. If the problems with your skin happens because of the liver damage, then you need to identify the problem get proper treatment. Because moisturizing your skin will not help unless the actual issue has treated.
11.Pain in the Abdomen
Abdominal pain or tenderness in this area is one of the most common symptoms of liver damage.
12. Diarrhea, Constipation, and Intestinal Bleeding
Without the clotting factors made by the liver, there might be intestinal bleeding correlated with diarrhea and constipation.
These are just 12 of the many early signs of liver damage. For example, liver damage can also cause hormonal imbalance in men, leading to loss of libido and enlarged breasts in men. If you notice any of these changes, consult your doctor immediately.
Take a look at the video below to learn which 7 foods are good for the liver: