The liver is an important organ located in the upper quadrant of the abdomen. It is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for more than a hundred important processes. This is why you need to learn the symptoms of liver damage and how to treat the condition properly.
12 early symptoms of damaged liver
There are more than 100 different liver diseases and each one has different symptoms. The most common ones are hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. The symptoms of these diseases are often misdiagnosed and detected far too late to be able to act. Here are some of the most common liver disease symptoms:
Vomiting and nausea are the usual symptoms of many diseases including food poisoning, motion sickness, vertigo, depression, early pregnancy and others. However, they are also a sign of liver damage and occur due to the organ’s inability to filter toxins.
Loss of appetite
When damaged, the liver can’t produce enough bile, which results in loss of appetite as the food isn’t properly digested.
Feeling tired all the time can be an indication of liver damage as the organ works harder when attacked. In this case, more toxins accumulate in the blood and tissues and result in constant fatigue which mustn’t be mistaken for simple tiredness.
The liver produces bile to digest food and fats, but when it’s function is impaired, it can’t produce the substance which leads to diarrhea and indigestion. Lack of bile can also cause fatty food intolerance, gallstones, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and bloating.
Changes in the color of the stool
The bile gives the stool its normal brown color, but when there’s a lack of it, it can make your stool yellow, gray or clay colored. If this is temporary, you have nothing to fear of. However, if the problem goes on for a while, you need to visit a doctor.
Changes in the color of the urine
The urine is normally yellow, but increased bilirubin levels in the blood as a result of liver damage may turn it to amber, green or brown.
Jaundice is a condition which turns a person’s eyes, fingertips, tongue and skin yellow. It is caused by excess bilirubin in the blood and should be taken seriously.
Once the liver starts failing, it causes fluid retention in the feet and ankles which makes them look bloated. Fluid retention can also be a symptom of heart failure, hormonal imbalance, lymphatic disease and kidney problems.
Cramps, pain and bloating in the abdominal area can be a sign of liver damage. Ascites is a condition in which fluid is accumulated in the abdominal area and is one of the earliest signs of liver damage or disease. Liver damage can also cause high blood pressure in the abdominal blood vessels.
When the liver is damaged, it makes the skin more sensitive and may cause itching and flakiness. It can also make your veins and bruises more visible, and the problems won’t go away with a simple cream.
Although it may be caused by many problems, tummy ache can also indicate liver damage or disease.
Constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bleeding
The liver is important for proper clotting, so when it’s damaged it can cause bleeding, diarrhea and constipation.