7 Common Symptoms of Liver Disease You Shouldn’t Ignore
Liver disease is a significant health problem that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the American Liver Foundation, the liver is responsible for over 500 functions within the body, including processing nutrients, detoxifying harmful chemicals, and producing bile to aid in digestion. However, several liver diseases can lead to the liver’s improper functioning, causing substantial health issues if ignored. Here are the seven common symptoms of liver disease that you should be aware of:
1. Fatigue and Weakness
One of the most common symptoms of liver disease is an overall sense of fatigue and weakness. This usually happens because the liver is not functioning correctly, leading to poor metabolism of nutrients by the body’s cells. Patients tend to have less energy, decreased appetite, and sleep disturbances. If you have been feeling tired and lethargic for an extended period, it might be time to consult your doctor to conduct a liver function test.
2. Abdominal Pain and Swelling
Liver disease can cause abdominal pain and swelling since the liver is located in the abdominal cavity. The enlarged liver can cause bloating, discomfort and fullness, and abdominal pain. If the problem persists for a long time, it is essential to consult a doctor to examine the liver’s health.
Jaundice is a symptom that occurs when the proteins responsible for transporting bilirubin are malfunctioning, leading to a yellowish hue in the skin. Jaundice can be a symptom of many diseases, including liver disease. If you notice yellowing of the eyes, skin, or nails, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.
4. Nausea and Vomiting
An inflamed or damaged liver can cause difficulties with digestion, leading to vomiting and nausea. Patients suffering from liver disease usually have an altered appetite and find it challenging to digest heavy meals.
5. Itchy Skin
Itchiness and redness of the skin can be caused by the buildup of toxins, such as bile acids and bilirubin, as a result of liver diseases. The skin can become so itchy that it leads to scarring, which can be a warning sign of liver disease.
6. Dark Urine
Patients with liver disease may notice their urine changing colour, becoming darker than usual. This happens due to the bile not flowing out properly from the liver, leading to an accumulation of bilirubin in the urine.
7. Spider Angiomas
Spider angiomas, also known as spider veins, are small blood vessels that appear as spiderwebs on the skin. These can arise due to the liver’s failure to purify the blood and regulate blood flow. Patients with liver disease may notice these small spider veins on the skin, signalling liver damage.
Liver disease is a severe health issue that requires immediate attention. The symptoms mentioned above are common in various liver diseases and could indicate the need for further medical attention. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor to test and diagnose the underlying issue. Early detection and prompt treatment can help prevent liver damage, so don’t ignore any of these warning signs.