The proper function of the liver is essential for our health. Over the years, liver disease rates are constantly increasing. The National statistics in the UK claims that liver diseases are the fifth most common cause of death.
It is estimated that liver diseases are the second major cause of mortality in the US!
To understand the importance of this organ, check out its functions:
- Regulates the balance of hormones including those of thyroid and adrenal glands
- Regulates energy supply-It manufactures, stores and delivers glucose to the body and brain
- Produces cholesterol; It converts it into essential substances used by the body
- Cleanses blood-It metabolizes alcohol, drugs (prescription and recreational); and neutralizes poisonous substances
- Manufactures essential body proteins, including those that prevent blood-clotting, open pathways for nutrient delivery to the blood, and proteins that ward off infection.
There are many factors that can lead to liver damage including heredity (genetic predisposition), prolonged exposure to toxic substances and long-term liver diseases (cirrhosis).
To protect your health and well-being, make sure not to ignore the potential signs of liver damage!
7 Possible Signs of Liver Damage
Many studies showed that liver damage is commonly characterized by chronic fatigue and exhaustion.
According to the experts, liver-related fatigue and exhaustion are a byproduct of hormonal imbalances and neurochemical changes in the brain. They are elevated of toxic byproducts in the blood, which cannot be eliminated by an impaired liver.
2. Dry or Irritated Skin
Irritated and itchy skin is another sign of liver damage. To maintain its optimal health, our skin needs moisture via transmission of fluids in the body.
If this fluid is not properly supplied, you may experience some changes in your skin’s appearance, including yellowing of the mucous membranes, inexplicable spotting (dark or light) in certain areas, and reddening of the hands or feet.
3. Abdominal Pain
If you have a damaged liver, you are more likely to experience pain around the abdominal area. It is a throbbing or stabbing pain that can be relieved only through proper treatment of the root cause.
The long-term use of prescription or over-the-counter medications can result in long-term liver damage. Make sure to visit a physician for evaluation.
4. Nausea or Vomiting
As we said before, our liver is responsible for detoxifying and eliminating the toxins compounds from the body.
When this function is impaired, you may experience various health complications and problems, including sudden changes in normal digestion and metabolism.
The fact that the liver is an organ within the digestive system indicates that any liver-related condition can result in digestive problems. The accumulation of toxins which cannot be eliminated by an impaired liver can lead to frequent nausea and vomiting.
Our liver helps in the production of essential protein enzymes that help to prevent blood clots. Disruption of this blood-clotting mechanism will lead to changes to the skin’s appearance.
According to NIH (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), if your liver stops producing the proteins essential for blood clotting or slow their production, you will bruise or bleed easily.
6. Abdominal Swelling
The Mayo Clinic claims that liver damage can disrupt the proper flow of blood to the organ, thus increasing pressure in the surrounding veins which are responsible for the transportation of blood from the spleen and intestines to the liver.
If this process gets disrupted, you will experience portal hypertension (causes the blood pressure levels to spike). This condition leads to ascites-accumulation of fluid around the stomach-
Liver problems can lead to discoloration of the skin and eyes. This discoloration occurs as a result of the accumulation of a bile pigment known as bilirubin, which can’t be properly disposed of.
Jaundice refers to the yellowish hueing of the skin or eyes. Jaundice causes other symptoms as well, including full-body itching, cognitive impairment, darkening of the urine.
As a highly resilient and adaptive organ, the liver has the ability to heal itself. However, if any of these symptoms persist, it is very important to consult a doctor immediately! The earlier you find out the underlying cause, the more effective treatment you will have!