As the largest internal organ, liver does a number of functions, but most importantly, it flushes out toxins out of the body. It also processes alcohol and all medications that we consume. It is important to take care of your liver by adopting healthy lifestyle changes and getting screened regularly for liver diseases, says expert Dr. Guru N. Reddy. There are many factors that can contribute to liver damage and related conditions, including alcohol abuse, personal and family history, unprotected sex, obesity, diabetes and tattoos.
In this post, we are going to talk about the common signs and symptoms that one mustn’t ignore.
- Abdominal pain. If your liver is damaged or inflamed, it is likely that you may have abdominal pain and cramps. The upper right part of the stomach may also feel swollen and sore. Keep in mind that there are different kinds of stomach pain, but if the pain initiates around the upper part of the abdomen, it can be related to the liver.
- Bilirubin is the one of the common byproducts produced by the body, which is eventually disposed off by the liver. When your liver isn’t working as expected, bilirubin can build up in the blood, which can cause what’s known as jaundice. The most common sign of jaundice is yellowish eyes. You may also feel that your skin color has turned yellow or pale. Most patients also have dark urine, besides bright yellow feces.
- Most people with liver diseases have fatigue, joint pain, nausea and tiredness. In case of autoimmune hepatitis, these symptoms may be more evident. For the uninitiated, autoimmune hepatitis is a condition, where the immune system of the body attacks the liver cells.
- Mental instability and confusion. Yes, you read that right. When the liver doesn’t work at its best, it can lead to the buildup of copper in the brain, which can create a sense of confusion or lack of understanding. This is more seen in patients, who have extensive liver damage or cirrhosis.
- Loss of appetite. Many patients with untreated liver conditions often have loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss in a small time. This is also commonly seen at later stages of liver damage but isn’t uncommon. In such advanced cases, transplant is probably the only choice, and the doctors may offer nutrients intravenously, as required.
If you have a family or personal history of liver conditions, get screened right away!