The liver is a vital organ that filters impurities from the blood and breaks down toxins. It also produces bile, which aids in fat digestion and eliminates waste from the body. If any of the liver’s functions are compromised, it may exhibit certain signs and symptoms that should not be overlooked. These symptoms could even indicate liver cancer, so it’s essential to be extra vigilant. Here are some liver damage signs one should look out for:
Swelling in the abdominal region
When the liver cannot function healthily, it exhibits some stressful symptoms. One of these stressful symptoms includes the leaking of fluids from its surface. This leaked fluid starts to collect in the abdominal cavity. Apart from the fluid leak from the liver, the intestines also start to leak fluid, and this symptom is known as ascites, which develops due to liver disease. Doctors believe that this is possibly caused by liver cirrhosis, a blocked hepatic vein, or it could also be a sign of liver cancer.
This is another warning sign of a damaged liver or liver disease. The liver’s regular function is to release bile salts into the stools, which give them their brown color. When the liver is under stress or not functioning properly, it can’t produce enough bile, and the bile salts can also become blocked, preventing them from draining out of the liver. When this happens, stools become pale, indicating that there may be a problem. It’s important to note that not every pale stool is a sign of an unhealthy liver, but if it happens frequently, it should be noted, and a doctor should be consulted to diagnose the issue thoroughly.
When someone experiences acute liver failure, they may feel fatigued, nauseous, and lose their appetite. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and indicate a serious condition like liver cancer. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if one notices any of these warning signs. So, one must stay observant of these warning signs and take the necessary steps to follow.
Vomiting of blood
This is a warning sign of liver disease like liver cirrhosis. Before vomiting blood, though, the body experiences nausea. When proper attention is neglected, these symptoms can worsen. Blood in vomit is a serious indication of liver disease, and it requires immediate medical attention. It is crucial not to ignore this symptom and seek medical attention promptly.
This symptom is often associated with chronic liver disease and is referred to as pruritus. However, it may not be present in everyone with the disease. Physicians usually recommend mild soaps or creams to keep the skin hydrated and alleviate symptoms.
When there is excess buildup of bilirubin in the body, it leads to yellow tint in the skin and the eyes. The liver usually filters out this bilirubin, but an excess amount may indicate liver cancer. This buildup also changes the color of the urine in individuals. It can turn into dark orange, brown, cola-colored, or even amber. This symptom indicates that the liver is unable to filter out the excess toxins from the body and needs an immediate check-up.
Yellow skin and eyes
As previously mentioned, when there is a buildup of bilirubin in the body, the urine, skin, and eyes can turn yellow. This condition is called jaundice and occurs when the liver is unable to filter out excess bilirubin. If one notices yellowing of the skin or eyes, it may indicate a liver disease or malfunction.
Some people may experience fluid leaks in their feet, similar to abdominal swelling. This swelling can cause complications such as limited mobility and increased stress and frustration. The accumulation of fluid in the legs, or edema, is caused by increased pressure in the portal vein. Additionally, doctors have found a connection between the blood protein albumin and swelling. When the liver fails to produce enough of this protein, it can also lead to swelling as a symptom.
The liver has an important role in producing proteins that help to clot the blood. These proteins are particularly essential during the healing process after an injury. If the body frequently experiences bruising and bleeding, it could indicate that the liver is not producing an adequate amount of these proteins. This condition may arise due to the liver being stressed and unable to perform its functions correctly. Therefore, a thorough examination is necessary to arrive at a diagnosis and receive the necessary treatment.
This symptom is called spider naevi, named so because it looks like a spider’s legs. It is characterized by red dots that appear on the skin and resemble the shape of spider legs. In some cases, small spider-shaped arteries also develop in clusters on the skin. Women are more likely to experience this symptom, but if the marks appear on the upper half of the body, it may indicate a liver disease. It is important to note that this symptom is not limited to women and can also appear in men. Therefore, it is essential to be vigilant about any unusual body marks that may appear unexpectedly.