Know the Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease
The liver is an essential organ that helps the body to digest food and gets rid of any potentially toxic substances or pollutants that might have been consumed.
It rests on the right side of your body just under the rib cage. A liver that doesn't work properly can lead to life-threatening situations as the body cannot function properly without a liver. Disease or damage done to the liver can result in scarring and lead to those life-threatening situations.
The causes of liver disease can stem from many different sources. In some cases, it may be hereditary. In other cases, obesity can actually lead to liver disease. Viruses and infections can also infect the liver. Among those viruses, Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types. Hepatitis can be contracted by touching or ingesting blood, semen, or saliva of someone who is infected.
Autoimmune diseases can also infect the liver and cause them damage. Cancer, as with anything else, can damage the liver just as much as anything else. Alcohol abuse and fatty growth on the liver are also causes.
To determine if one is experiencing liver disease, then consider these signs and symptoms.
1. Yellow Eyes And Skin
Perhaps one of the most well-known indications that one's liver might be damaged is jaundice. This is a condition where one's eyes and skin turn a yellowish color. The severity of the disease can often be determined by how yellow the eyes and skin have become. The pigmentation occurs because bilirubin, a yellow-orange substance, has built up in the blood. This substance is typically found in the red blood cells. When those red blood cells die, then the liver filters them out of the blood. However, if the liver isn't able to function properly and can't remove those dead cells, then the bilirubin builds up and makes the skin appear yellow.
2. Abdominal Pain And Swelling
Because abdominal pain and swelling can result from anything as simple and non-lethal as gas to something as dire as liver disease, it can be difficult to determine what the symptom is indicating. Abdominal pain can be a result of liver disease. If one feels the pain in the area of the liver, and it's consistent, then there is a good chance that it is because of damage that was done to your liver. Swelling is also an indication of liver disease. In fact, if you notice swelling in your abdominal area, you could be at great lethal risk and should see your doctor as soon as possible.
3. Swelling In The Legs And Ankles
When the liver doesn't function correctly, it can result in portal hypertension occurring. Fluids essentially are blocked from moving to other parts of the body and swelling occurs. This is especially found in areas such as the legs, ankles, and abdomen. Since the liver is unable to clear the bloodstream of clogging material like dead cells and other items, then those accumulate, keeping fluid from traveling through the stream with ease. Swelling that has reached the ankles is an indication that the disease has been prolonged.
4. Chronic Fatigue/Loss Of Appetite
Another symptom of liver disease is a consistent feeling of exhaustion. When one's body is unable to function properly, it is using a lot of energy in an attempt to fix the problem or to have the body still attempt to perform its usual activities despite the malfunctioning organ or process. As such, the body is using a lot of energy in an attempt to keep working properly. That can leave the individual feeling exhausted consistently since energy is constantly being used. When this fatigue is also coupled with a loss in appetite, then it may indicate that the problem arises from liver disease. Since the liver is a primary organ used in digestion, if it isn't functioning correctly, the brain may be prompted to tell the body not to consume anything further.
5. Easily Bruised
One last sign of liver disease is the tendency to bruise with ease. Because the liver has an important role in keeping the bloodstream healthy and helping it flow through the entire body, if it is unable to perform its job, then the blood is no longer being kept healthy. As such, when one is injured or even rests one's arm against something for a prolonged time, one might notice a bruise even without significant injury.
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