Watch out for these 9 early signs of Liver damage
Suppose if your body were an automobile, your liver would be the engine. The liver has two big units, called the right and the left lobes. The gallbladder is situated under the liver, alongside parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver and these organs function in tandem to digest, absorb, and process food.
The liver’s key job is to clean the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it in the rest of the body. The liver also depollutes chemicals and processes drugs. During the process, the liver discharges bile that finishes up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins vital for blood clotting and other functions.
But excessive alcohol drinking and other ailments may weaken the liver and here are 10 signs that should tell you to be cautious about your liver.
1 Swollen Abdomen
Fluid accumulation in the abdomen a condition referred to as ascites also causes Cirrhosis, a severe progression of liver disease, causes, as levels of albumin and proteins in the blood and fluid are retained.
The fluid build-up may truly make the patient appear pregnant. While ascites can be triggered by many medical conditions, cirrhosis of the liver is the single greatest cause. Also the swelling can also be seen in the ankles, as the fluid is strained down into the body thanks to gravity.
Ascites can be cured with diuretics and a salt free diet, and in extreme cases, the fluid can be drained using a needle that is injected into the stomach. But when ascites stops responding to many frontline medical treatments, extreme treatment options such as the insertion of a shunt or a liver transplant may be required.
Liver damage also brings a yellow colored hue in the skin or the eyes. This yellowing is the result of build-up of bilirubin which is a bile pigment in the blood. The body cannot eliminate it as a waste. Jaundice also causes the color of urine to turn dark and high level of bilirubin also triggers severe itching in the body. In extremely serious cases, jaundice can result in loss of brain function and can often be diagnosed as dementia in older patients.
Jaundice treatment depends on identifying the underneath medical condition. In seriously damaged livers, jaundice may not be treated. But in healthy livers, jaundice diminishes when the liver function improves. However, it’s significant to remember that liver disease isn’t treated when jaundice vanishes; patients who recuperate from serious liver damage must stay careful to preserve better health.
3 Stomach Pain
Stomach pain in the upper right corner of the abdomen, or in the lower right place of the ribcage, is a important sign of liver damage.
Patients typically describe it as a determined throbbing or stabbing pain which may be momentarily comforted by medications. It’s imperative to remember that liver sickness can be instigated by long-term misuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications, like acetaminophen and narcotic-acetaminophen combinations.
These medications upset the stomach as a side effect, and their damaging traits can be augmented if you drink alcohol while using them. These side effects can cause more damage to the liver over the long term.
4 Change in urine color
Increased levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream make the color of urine dark yellow. This is caused due to liver’s inability to process bilirubin via excretion through kidneys. Bilirubin is a bodily fluid which is produced through the natural breakdown of bile, and is normally eliminated through bile and urine.
It seems to perform the job of a cellular-level antioxidant, but if present in disproportionate amounts can lead to toxicity. Unrestrained reactions and eye movements, seizures, and neurological damages can be caused from habitually high bilirubin levels.
Dark urine can also be caused by many factors. Dehydration, gallstones, contamination of the bile duct, and enzyme deficits can cause changes in the color and composition of urine. But if the color of the urine is constantly dark yellow or brown, or if the smell is overpowering, you should consult your doctor for an analysis.
5 Skin Irritation
Another sign of liver damage is skin irritation. It results from lack of fluid flowing in the body leaving flaky and itchy patches on the body. Liver disease can also cause other skin difficulties like yellowing of the skin and jaundice, redness in the feet or hands, and variations in skin tone and color.
Also some patients experience the appearance of veins through the skin. If you experience such symptoms along with itching, immediately consult your doctor.
6 Changes in stool
Bowel movements also get affected by liver damage. Liver damage causes constipation, indications of irritable bowel syndrome, or changes in the color and physical makeup of your stool. The patients may experience any or all of these symptoms when they have undetected cases of liver disease or cirrhosis.
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome comprises of irregular spells of constipation and diarrhoea, stomach pain, and a recurrent, sudden, and urgent need to pass bowel movements.
Liver damage causes gastritis and acid reflux and even vomiting bouts. Inexplicable and constant vomiting is one of the conclusive signs that a patient may have liver problems.
When vomiting happens without the presence of any stomach or abdominal tract problems, it is thought to be a serious medical concern and its cause should be examined carefully.
With liver damage, patient experiences constant feeling of nausea that is given by the body’s reduced ability to eliminate toxins and changes in absorption and digestion. If you notice any variations in your health, no matter how negligible, visit your doctor to get checked out.
8 Loss of Appetite
One of the most serious signs of liver damage is loss of appetite. This is considered to be a sign of legitimately progressive liver disease and is life-threatening in itself. Noteworthy changes in appetite which result in quick weight loss is one such symptom.
Patients who have deteriorated to the point of fast, severe weight loss loose the feeling of eating and may even become so ill that they could not keep the food down. In this scenario, doctors need to administer nutrients intravenously to get the patient back to health.
If the liver damage has extended to the point where the organ is past restoration, only a transplant can save the patient’s life.
9 Fluid Retention
Severe liver damage can lead to fluid retention in the places like legs, ankles, and feet. Decreased liver function constrains the body’s capability to harvest and circulate proteins and body tends to retain fluid which reaches the legs, feet and ankles due to natural gravity. One of the features of liver disease-caused fluid retaining is that the print of your fingers will remain for a few seconds if you press down on an affected area.
This fluid retention can also be deteriorated by diminished kidney function, which often goes with serious liver damage. Along with fluid retention to legs, feet, and ankles, it may also happen in the abdomen. Aggressive treatments such as surgical fluid drainage are the options, if medicines like diuretics fail.