10 Early Signs of Liver Damage You Must Not Ignore
01-11-2017 | Posted By: Chhavi | 935 View(s)
The liver is the body’s largest internal organ and performs many important bodily functions. The main function of the liver is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. It also makes many of the chemicals required by the body to function properly. In order to lead a healthy life, it is important to have a healthy liver. There are many signs and symptoms that tell that the liver is not functioning properly. Today, we are going to talk about the early signs of liver damage that you must know about.
10 Early Signs of Liver Damage
When the liver stop functioning properly, the waste is not eliminated from the body effectively which results in the buildup of bile pigment called bilirubin in the bloodstream. Jaundice is mostly associated with newborn babies, and the symptoms of jaundice include yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes, fatigue, vomiting, fever, dark urine, abdominal pain and weight loss. One of the major functions of the liver is to break down the bilirubin, but when a liver is not functioning properly, bilirubin gets build up in the bloodstream and causes Jaundice. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a Gastroenterologist immediately.
2. Itchy Skin
One of the common signs of liver damage is itchy skin that does not go away and develops into a flaky rash. When there is lack of fluid flow in the body, then it results in skin irritations. Liver disease can also cause several other skin problems, including changes in skin tone and colour, redness of the feet or hands, yellow tinge to the skin.
In some cases, patients also experience the appearance of veins through the skin. If any of these symptoms appear along with itching, then you must consult a Doctor immediately.
3. Bruising Easily
When the liver is not functioning well, people tend to bruise or bleed more easily because their liver has slowed or stopped producing proteins that are necessary for blood clotting. So, if you notice cuts or bruises on your body that you cannot easily attribute to their origin, then be wise and visit a Doctor immediately.
4. Abdominal Swelling
Cirrhosis, the progression of liver disease, causes fluid build-up in the abdomen (a condition known as ascites) and leads to an imbalance of proteins and other compounds. The main symptom of ascites is a protruding belly, and numerous medical conditions can cause it.
Ascites mostly occur in chronic cases and can be treated with diuretics and a reduced-sodium diet. Sometimes, swelling also occurs in the hands, feet and ankles. Thus, if you notice a sudden swelling in any part of the body, seek medical help instantly.
5. Changes in Bowel Movements
Liver malfunction causes a number of changes in bowel movements. The common symptoms of liver damage include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and changes in the colour of your stool.
Constipation is when you find it painful and difficult to pass stools. Also, constipation is when you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Constipation is a medical condition that happens from time to time, but if it becomes chronic, it means that there is some serious health problem.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) include alternating bouts of diarrhoea and constipation, sudden and urgent need to pass bowel movements and abdominal pain.
Also, sudden changes in the colour of stool can also be a sign of a liver disease. This is one of the major signs of liver damage.
Persistent vomiting is considered to be one of the signs of liver damage. Nausea is a condition described as a feeling of sickness with the sensation of an urge to vomit. Nausea is a reaction to excess waste products in the body. When the liver is not functioning properly, the body’s ability to eliminate toxins get decreased. Liver disease affects metabolism and digestion as well which causes nausea and persistent vomiting. Along with a feeling of fatigue and lethargy, nausea is one of the first symptoms of liver damage.
7. Loss of Appetite
When the liver is not working properly, the digestive system also gets affected. It is because with a damaged liver, the entire process of digestion becomes difficult. Nausea, a disinterest in food and weight loss are some of the early symptoms of liver problems. When the liver disease progresses, more symptoms may appear including abdominal pain, which makes a person lose interest in food. When the liver is damaged, the patient finds it hard to digest food properly, and so this often results in the brain sending signals to the body that it is not hungry to keep away from the discomfort and pain that eating has caused up until that point.
So, if you have lost your appetite and lost weight all of a sudden, make an appointment to visit your Doctor immediately.
8. Personality Changes
When the liver is damaged, it can also affect your personality. When toxins get accumulated in the blood and move to the brain, it leads to cognitive problems including confusion, irritability, forgetfulness, insomnia and lack of concentration.
9. Abdominal Pain
Another symptom of the liver problem is the pain in the abdomen that usually occurs in the upper right abdomen, or just under the lower right ribs. The pain may come and go, but it can be throbbing. If you experience intense abdominal pain, seek immediate medical attention.
10. Swollen Spleen
The spleen is located at the upper left corner of the abdomen right behind the rib cages and is part of the lymph system that functions as a drainage network to combat infection. When the liver is not working properly, the spleen also gets affected. Signs of a swollen or enlarged spleen include indigestion, tenderness and pain the surrounding area and intense pain that has spread to the left shoulder. If you experience any of these symptoms, then do visit your doctor.
These were the 10 early signs and symptoms of liver damage. Go for regular Health Checkups to detect diseases at an early stage and get the treatment done at the right time.