Located in the upper right-hand portion of the body, the liver is your largest internal organ. It’s responsible for many vital functions, including detoxification, metabolism, digestion, production of essential protein components, and storage of important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Liver damage can cause disruption to these functions, affecting your health. Failure to taking good care of your life can result in unfortunate consequences.
However, by paying close attention to your body, you can detect early signs of liver damage.
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Signs of Liver Damage You Should Know
1. Swollen Abdomen
Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to a serious liver disease called cirrhosis. Due to a fluid retention, the abdomen gets swollen as if the patient is pregnant. The swelling can continue and move down to the legs and feet.
If you feel pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, consult a doctor immediately.
One of the most common signs of liver damage is jaundice.
Known as a condition that causes yellow discoloration of skin and eyes, jaundice happens when the liver is unable to eliminate bilirubin (a bile pigment) from the body. Jaundice also causes light-colored stools and darken urine.
The liver is in charge of absorbing essential vitamins and minerals and keeping the blood system clean. However, when it’s compromised or unhealthy, your blood stream will be full of toxins. Thus, feeling weak and tired is considered to be one of the early signs of liver damage.
In addition, you might experience an excessive need for sleep, which is a symptom of gluten intolerance.
Have you been experiencing a burning sensation in the stomach or an urge to vomit, followed by an abnormal amount of sweating and saliva? This feeling is referred as nausea.
Though nausea is a common symptom for a lot of diseases, it’s one of the earliest signs of liver damage.
5. Itchy Skin
Liver damage not only discolors your skin (jaundice), but also makes it more flaky, itchy, and irritable.
Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, does not happen to everyone. However, it’s another common sign of Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC), a serious form of liver disease. The symptom is usually most severe on the palms and soles of the feet. It also gets worse during night time.
When the liver is functioning poorly, it produces fewer proteins which are crucial for your blood to clot properly. As a result, this makes you more prone to bleeding and bruises.
If you notice unusual bruising, immediately seek help from your doctor.
7. Weight Loss
As your liver gets worse over time, more pronounced symptoms will appear. Dramatic weight loss is one of such symptoms.
Due to liver damage, your body is incapable of digesting food properly. Lack of appetite then escalates, leading to poor metabolism and serious weight loss.
The liver is a powerful and important organ of your body. Sometimes, it’s easy to take it for granted. The truth is that a damaged liver will contribute nothing but harmful diseases to your health. So before it’s too later, take good care of your liver.