The liver is an organ located under the lower ribcage on the right side of the body that we rarely think about, even though it’s an important partner of our digestive system and virtually everything we consume passes through it. Some of its main responsibilities is to clean the blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals produced by the body, produce a liquid called bile which helps the body break down fat from food and store the carbs in the form glycogen.
Although the liver is an organ that demands to be treated right in order to stay healthy and function properly and gets easily attacked by a number of diseases and health issues, most notably hepatitis, cirrhosis and fatty liver disease, it’s also very resilient and will continue working even when two thirds of it have been damaged by scarring.
This can be a big problem because people with liver issues are often completely unaware of their condition. Since early detection is the most vital part of any successful treatment, this article will provide you with the leading symptoms of a malfunctioning liver.
Abdominal problems and digestive issues
Vomiting, nausea, unexpected motion sickness and stomach pain can be a sign of early liver damage, especially if you also experience migraines, vertigo and depression. These symptoms may indicate that your liver is unable to efficiently eliminate toxins. In addition, a dysfunctional liver can’t produce bile, which leads to diarrhea, increased fatty foods intolerance, bloating in the lower abdomen and irritable bowel syndrome.
Finally, one of the definite signs that your liver is seriously ill is intestinal bleeding, followed with diarrhea and constipation.
Weird urine color and/or stool color
Anything from bright orange to darkish brown is a sign of high blood levels of bilirubin, a common product of catabolic processes in the body. The liver is responsible for eliminating the bilirubin, so the changes in your urine’s color may point to a dysfunctional liver.
The lack of bile can also lead to changes in stool color, causing it to become gray, pale yellow or even clay colored. If this symptom lasts longer than a few days, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Lack of appetite and sudden weight loss
When you’re lacking bile because of a malfunctioning liver, your digestion becomes troubled and the food you consume can’t be thoroughly broken down, causing a persistent decrease in appetite and weight loss.
A damaged liver will cause the fluid inside the abdomen to build up, resulting in high blood pressure in the abdomen’s blood vessels. Also, in the earliest phase of many diseases that also damage the liver (lymphatic disease, kidney issues, dysfunctional hormonal activity), you’re most likely to experience fluid retention in the feet and ankles.
This is a condition characterized by yellowing of the eye whites, fingertips, tongue and skin, usually caused by elevated bilirubin levels in the blood but it can also be a symptom of other diseases related to the pancreas or gallbladder.
One of the main symptoms of a harmed liver is skin sensitivity. Severe itching that affects your whole body, lasts more than a week and doesn’t improve with self-care measures can indicate liver problems, especially if it’s accompanied by unexplainable bruises, skin redness and veins exposure.
Persistent, extreme fatigue accompanied by sleepiness is another symptom that directly indicates to liver damage since the organism exhausts itself by trying to compensate for the impaired liver performance.
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If you experience two or more of the symptoms listed above, it’s most advisable to consult your doctor immediately to prevent any further damage to your liver and other vital organs in the body.