9 Symptoms of Liver DamageOct 13, 2022
The liver is one of the most important organs of your body.It plays a vital role in digesting food and removing toxic matter from the system. There are several possible reasons for liver disease, including genetic causes, other illnesses, use of prescription or non-prescription medication, alcohol and drug abuse and obesity, among others.The liver has great strength because it is able to regenerate itself and recover from damage, but only upto a point. It is not an open-ended process. Repeated damage to the liver can lead to inflammation and scarring and cirrhosis. When the liver suffers damage, its structure changes and it shrinks and becomes hard which reduces its ability to function as it should.
Among the most common causes of liver ailments are a high-fat diet, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse and viral infections like hepatitis. Liver ailments often do not produce any symptoms until the condition is well-advanced, making treatment and recovery more difficult. For this reason, it is important that you know the common indicators of liver damage so that you are able to spot them early. This will enable you to have the problem diagnosed and get the right treatment without undue delay, thereby improving your chances of a quick recovery.
Signs of Liver Damage
- Although liver functioning is not directly linked to the energy levels of the body, doctors have found that increasing levels of fatigue and tiredness are often early symptoms of liver damage. If you find that you do not have the energy you used to have or that recovering after an energetic activity takes longer than it used to, it could be a sign of liver damage.
- Spider naevi are very small clusters of arteries that appear on the skin in the shape of a spider. They look like red dots with lines radiating out from the center. These can appear in healthy women but if they are predominantly on the upper half of the body or anywhere on a man, it could be an indication of liver disease.
- When the liver is unable to function properly, toxins build up in the bloodstream. This can lead to regular bouts of nausea and vomiting. An occasional bout could have several reasons but if nausea persists or keep recurring, it should be checked as liver damage may be a cause.
- When the liver is unable to process bilirubin (a component of bile) effectively, it causes the skin and eyes to take on a yellow colour. Itchiness may also be felt on various parts of the body. This condition is known as jaundice and is a strong indication of liver damage.
- The stools you pass from your body normally have a dark colour due to the bile salts (produced in the liver) that they contain. If the stools have a palecolour, it is an indication of a problem with the liver and if the paleness remains for a few days,that is a sign that you should be checked for liver damage.Black slime stools are often caused by the presence of blood in the intestinal tract.This often happens in the case of liver disease that could be at an advanced stage and so it should be checked without delay.
- If you find that your urine has become more darkly coloured than it used to be, that is a sign of possible liver damage. The darkness is because the liver is unable to breakdown and process the excess bilirubin in the system, so it is passing out with the urine and giving it a dark colour.
- The liver produces chemicals that help the blood clot when the skin is damaged. If you find that you bruise more easily than you did before or if even small impacts, that had no effect previously, now cause bruising, it could be an indication of your liver’s inability to produce the clotting chemicals due to it being damaged or diseased.
- Swelling of the abdomen (and at times the legs and ankles)is caused by fluid retention. This could be due to reduced functioning of the liver which prevents the fluid from being passed out of the body.
- Red palms are a common sign of cirrhosis of the liver. It is found in about 25% of all cirrhosis patients. If you notice this happening to your palms, go for a checkup without delay.
A healthy liver is vital for your overall well-being. Because it functions quietly in the background, performing various roles and providing support to other organs, it is easy to take it for granted. And since liver problems often do not show up until the damage or disease has reached an advanced stage, people who are not aware of the signs of liver damage can go for years without knowing that they have a liver condition that is progressively worsening. The longer the treatment is delayed, the more difficult it is to repair the damage. Total liver failure is a life-threatening condition that requires a liver transplant. However, the sooner liver damage is suspected and then diagnosed, the sooner treatment can commence and recovery can begin.
Liver conditions affect not just that organ but the rest of the body also. It is for this reason that a multispecialty hospital with the best liver specialists and medical technology and equipment is the best place for a liver check-up. If damage is found, this is where the best treatment will be available. And if other parts of the body have been affected by the liver condition, any other medical services or treatments that may be required will be available at the same place.
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