The liver is the important part of the body that keeps you healthy and is also the largest organ in our body. It is found in the abdominal cavity. The liver has a dark reddish-brown color and weighs approximately 3 pounds. Few people don’t take the health of their liver seriously. You can easily make your liver unhealthy by heavy drinking or by eating an unhealthy diet for too long. If an unhealthy liver is left untreated, it can cause you some serious illness. So what are the signs of liver damage? Continue reading the article and you will find some common signs of liver problems and early signs of liver damage.
Function Of Liver
Before knowing about what are the signs of liver damage, you should know what are the main functions of the liver? Main purpose of the liver is to clear out toxins. In other words, it purifies the blood that comes from the digestive tract, before passing it to the body. Here are few more primary functions of the liver:
- Bile production and excretion
- Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and other drugs
- Helps in metabolism of the fats, proteins, and even carbohydrates
- It stores glycogen, vitamins, and minerals
- Enzyme activation
- It synthesis plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors
Common Signs Of Liver Problems And Possible Treatments
Here are common four most dangerous symptoms that a person notices if he or she has severe liver problems:
In cirrhosis, 50 percent of people will have this symptom. It is one of the most common signs of liver problems. In this case, the scar tissues will replace the healthy liver tissue. If a lot of fluid accumulates in the body, it may cause swelling in your legs or even distension in the abdomen. It usually happens when there is a development of high blood pressure in the liver veins. Also, it may occur when the liver can’t make albumin. Albumin is a protein that helps in the prevention of leaks from the bloodstream into tissue.
Treatment of fluid retention:
If someone has mild fluid retention, he or she may go for a low-sodium diet. But for severe retention, you should consult a doctor. Your doctor will probably prescribe diuretics that are also known as water pills. However, there are some cases in which doctors have to use a needle to drain abdominal fluid from the body.
A person going through liver problems can also have jaundice. In this case, a person has skin signs of liver damage. He or she will have a yellowish tint in the skin or the whites of the eyes. It also causes darker urine. This happens because of the breakdown of the red blood cells. The breakdown of red blood cells generates bilirubin which is a pigment that goes in the bloodstream. If you have a healthy liver, it will convert bilirubin into bile and the body will excrete it in the stool.
Treatment of Jaundice:
Jaundice is the most severe symptom of liver damage. Most doctors recommend a liver transplant in this case.
The liver is the part of the body that cycles approximately 25% of the blood from the portal vein in the body. Cirrhosis may create an opportunity for bleeding. For example, a person may vomit blood or see blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. A healthy liver prevents bleeding by producing clotting proteins. But, there are very less chances that a sick liver produces clotting proteins, and that results in more bleeding. In mild cases, there will be nosebleeds and bleeding gums.
Treatment Of Bleeding:
If someone sees blood in the vomit, he or she has to go to the emergency room immediately. Also, for other types of bleeding, you have to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Whenever a person has an unhealthy liver, it is unable to filter toxins. They may go to the brain and result in a peculiar condition, known as hepatic encephalopathy. It may cause confusion, memory problems, lethargy, and even coma.
Treatment Of Confusion:
Laxative lactulose is the standard treatment for this case. It helps in binding the toxins in the colon and drains them out before they get into the bloodstream.
Signs Of Liver Damage From Drinking
When a person drinks alcohol, the liver filters it out of the bloodstream. If you drink alcohol moderately, it will not affect a normally functioning liver. Also, you will be safe from alcohol-related liver disease. However, too much alcohol is bad for your health, especially for your liver. Large amounts of alcohol make it difficult for a liver to filter it, therefore, it has to overwork. The overworking of a liver leads to the accumulation of fatty tissue, inflammation, and at the end significant scarring on the liver. Here are some of the noticeable and unnoticeable signs of liver damage from drinking:
- General unwellness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Low energy levels
- Abnormal sleeping habits
- Emerging skin conditions
- Drinking small amounts of alcohol leads to intoxication
- Intense hangovers
- Caffeine affects increase
- Severe reactions from regular medication
- Abdominal pain
The above symptoms aren’t usually taken into consideration by many people. They continue drinking alcohol until they damage their liver completely.
In few cases, the patient can’t ignore the symptoms and some of those cases are as below:
Fatty Liver Disease:
When a person gets fatty liver because of the consumption of large amounts of alcohol, he or she may feel extremely tired or weak. They may also feel pain or discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen. But don’t worry, if that person stops drinking alcohol at that moment, the symptoms may subside.
Continuation of alcoholic drinking may result in alcoholic hepatitis. It may cause inflammation in the liver and the rise of scar tissues. If you don’t treat it properly, it will become life-threatening. A person having Alcoholic Hepatitis may have skin signs of liver damage such as low fever, yellowing of the skin. Also, vomiting, extreme tiredness, weight loss, blood in vomit or stool, and Clubbing of fingernails are few other early signs of liver damage. A person may also feel swelling of lower limbs, and tenderness in the abdomen.
How To Treat Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease?
When a person has liver disease, he or she has to stop drinking alcohol completely. It is the first and most important step for the treatment of liver problems. If someone is fully dependent on alcohol drinking, he has to go to the doctor immediately to seek medically supervised detoxification to stop alcohol drinking. It is the best method for alcohol addiction treatment.
You can also treat the liver by exercising. Exercising plays an important role in the treatment of alcohol-induced liver disease. If the liver is not too spoiled, losing weight and not smoking will help in reversing the early stages of alcoholic liver disease. You can also add supplements such as multivitamins to your diet for better health and better liver.
Some doctors also prescribe steroids, probiotics, and antibiotics to ease some of the uneasiness that you may feel with the symptoms of alcoholic liver disease. In some cases, a doctor uses stem cell therapies. In the worst cases, there is a need for liver transplantation. However, a liver transplant is troublesome for few patients.
Also Read: Exploring a White Matter Disease Diagnosis
Other Few Warning Signs Of Liver Problems
Here are some unique symptoms that you see in a person when they have liver problems:
Enlargement Of Breast:
The enlargement of the breast is a shocking warning sign in a man if he has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a very uncommon occurrence but has its explanation. It is due to an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone because of liver damage.
If you are experiencing a chronic case of chills, it could be a symptom of cholestasis during liver disease. It usually happens when the flow of bile is less in the body or has completely gone extinct.
Tips For A Healthy Liver
Here are tips that you can include in your daily routine for keeping a healthy liver:
- Exercise 5 times in a week for minimum of 30 minutes
- Eat a healthy diet that has low refined sugars, processed foods, sweets, sodas, and refined carbohydrates. Also, include fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods in your diet
- Drink moderately that means no more than two daily drinks are allowed for men and only one drink for women
- You should maintain a healthy weight constantly
It is important that you take your health seriously and the liver is one of the important parts of your body that needs your full attention, you can’t ignore it. Many symptoms make it obvious that your liver needs help, therefore you should take necessary precautions. Different liver problems have different symptoms. You have to focus on your health more than you think. Any small problem may result in life-threatening conditions. Also, alcohol abuse isn’t the only reason for liver failure, there are many other reasons. Take care of your body and choose to control chronic conditions for a healthy liver and healthy life.
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