The liver is an integral part of the human body. It is situated at the right side of the abdomen under the ribs. It is the size of a football. The liver is a vital body organ that is important for the proper functioning of the body. It plays an important role by removing wastes from the body, processing medicines, producing bile, storing glucose, it helps in the digestion of the food, provides nutrients to the body, and several other functions. Liver damaged is a serious issue.
Your liver may be damaged due to liver diseases which can be either inherited through your parents or a liver disease caused by numerous factors such as hepatitis B or C or A, obesity, and excess alcohol consumption.
Liver has a tendency to regenerate and repair itself. However, chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis can be life-threatening. It causes scarring and hardening of the liver, thus making it difficult for the liver to function to its potential. Cirrhosis often leads to liver failure if not treated at the right time.
According to the best liver doctor in India, damage to the liver often shows no noticeable signs and symptoms.
Still, 10 warning signals of the liver when it is fairly advanced that sometimes may show early symptoms of liver disease:
- Itchy skin: Jaundice may cause irritation and an itchy skin.
- Little to poor appetite: When the liver is damaged, it tries to kill your hunger which is the most common symptom of liver damage.
- Fatigue and tiredness: This is a common symptom although doctors are still not sure how and why liver damage causes tiredness.
- Nausea and vomiting: Nausea gives a feeling of sickness. This happens due to the accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream as the liver’s capacity to function to its potential decreases.
- Tendency to bruise easily: This happens as the liver’s caliber to produce clotting factors decreases.
- Jaundice: Yellowing of the eyes and skin is due to the build up of a bile pigment in the blood. This causes itchiness on the skin as well.
- Abdominal pain or swelling: Swelling or pain in the abdomen area is because of accumulation of fluid in the stomach.
- Swelling of the ankles and legs: Puffiness in the legs or ankles is a clear sign of liver damage. You must seek medical help.
- Dark color urine and pale stool color: A pale stool color is an indication that something is fishy inside the liver or other part of the biliary drainage system. Dark color urine is also a sign of liver disease. It is because of the buildup of bilirubin.
- Confusion: Liver damaged also hampers your ability to understand things. This causes confusion at things in which you never were.
To avoid further damage to your liver, make an appointment with your doctor immediately to get it treated if any of the above signs worry you. Abdominal pain can sometimes be very serious. Seek immediate medical assistance as it is a signal that something is wrong inside your body.
What causes damage to the liver?
Liver may get damaged due to several reasons:
Sometimes the liver may get damaged due to infections such as viral hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Infection causes inflammation in the liver making it challenging for the liver to function adequately. This virus or infection may spread through blood, contaminated water, and food, or contact with a person who is already infected.
- Immune system abnormality:
This is a disease where your own immune system attacks the healthy cells in the body which may cause damage to the liver. Some examples include:
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Genetical (inherited):
An abnormal gene inherited from your parents may cause certain substances to build up in the liver causing it to damage to the liver. This includes:
- Wilson’s disease
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Cancer and other growth:
Other diseases that may cause damage to the liver includes liver cancer, bile duct cancer and liver adenoma.
Causes of liver cancer:
Liver cancer is caused when abnormal cells grow and multiply in healthy liver cells. It is also caused due to chronic hepatitis infection. But sometimes, the cause of liver cancer is unknown in some people.
There are other common causes of liver damage. To name a few:
- Excess alcohol consumption called alcoholic liver disease
- Certain herbal compounds
- Accumulation of fat in the liver
- Over the counter painkillers
- Cholestatic liver disease
Fatty liver symptoms:
People with fatty liver disease may not have noticeable symptoms until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Some similar symptoms with that of liver damaged may include that may lead to cirrhosis are:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of hunger
- Sudden weight loss
Some factors that increase the risk of liver damaged:
- Heavy use of alcohol
- Unprotected sex
- Family medical history
- Body piercing
- Injecting drugs using needles
- Exposure to other people’s body fluids
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
It is hard to ignore the above-mentioned signals. Take it as a warning sign and seek immediate medical help.
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