Statistics revealed by World Gastroenterology and National statistics in the UK, regarding liver disease are worrying. According to the mentioned institutions, liver diseases are recognised as the second leading cause of mortality amongst all digestive diseases in the US. Some causes of liver damage can include heredity, long-term liver diseases (ex: cirrhosis), and prolonged exposure to toxic substances. A properly functioning liver is crucial for our health. This organ is responsible with cleanses of the blood by metabolizing alcohol, drugs and neutralizing poisonous substances. Liver also manufactures essential body proteins, produces cholesterol, regulates energy supply by manufacturing, storing and delivering glucose to the body and brain and regulates the balance of hormones. Here is how you can notice if your liver started to suffer. Pay attention to these symptoms and visit your doctor for further check if you think you have liver problems.
- DRY AND ITCHY SKIN
In order to stay healthy, the skin requires moisture via transmission of fluids within the body. When this fluid is not adequately supplied by the liver, you can experience symptoms such as: reddening of the hands or feet, yellowing of the mucous membranes, spotting (dark or light) in certain areas.
- FATIGUE AND EXHAUSTION
Chronic fatigue and exhaustion are the most common symptoms of liver damage, because this symptoms indicate elevated levels of toxic byproducts in the blood, which an impaired liver cannot properly eliminate.
- ABDOMINAL PAIN
When the liver is damaged, it is normal to feel pain around the abdominal area. People experiencing persistent abdominal pain of the stabbing or throbbing variety and have used OTC or Rx medications for a substantial period should visit a physician for evaluation.
Liver problems can cause discoloration of the eyes and skin. This yellowish hueing of the skin or eyes is called jaundice.
- NAUSEA OR VOMITING
When the liver’s detoxification function is impaired, there can be sudden changes in normal digestion and metabolism. Nausea and vomiting usually occur due to the accumulation of toxins that the liver cannot eradicate.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “when the liver slows the production of or stops producing the proteins needed for blood clotting, a person will bruise or bleed easily.”
- ABDOMINAL SWELLING
Liver damage disrupts the normal flow of blood to the organ, which increases pressure in the surrounding veins. These “surrounding veins” are responsible for transporting blood from the spleen and intestines to the liver. Disruption of this process causes blood pressure levels to spike a condition known as portal hypertension.