The human liver performs some of the critical functions in the body and is responsible for flushing out toxins from the bloodstream. It is also the largest of all internal organs and is the only organ that can regenerate itself. This is the precise reason why liver transplants allow the donor to give a part of their liver to the recipient, as the organ can grow back to its normal size again. Many factors, including alcohol abuse, use of certain medications, obesity and high blood cholesterol, can cause liver damage, which in the worst cases can lead to cirrhosis and other complicated conditions.
Below are some of the signs of liver damage that you shouldn’t ignore.
- Swelling in the abdomen. If you have constant swelling in the abdominal area that refuses to subside, do visit Memorial Hermann North Houston Endoscopy and Surgery for a quick checkup. This can point towards a condition known as ascites. Consider the condition to be severe if you have swelling in other parts of the body, as well.
- Yellow skin and eyes. One of the tell-a-tale signs of liver damage is change in skin color. If your skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow, it might signal liver damage. This is caused because a substance bilirubin buildup in the blood. This is also referred as jaundice. Basically, the liver cannot process bilirubin, and thereby, there are changes in skin color. This can be caused by cirrhosis, cancer, or viral liver infections like hepatitis.
- Patients with liver damage often tend to bruise easily. They may also bleed more from smaller wounds, mainly because the liver doesn’t work normally, which reduces the production of certain proteins that facilitate blood clotting. Keep a check on this sign, especially if you have a history of liver diseases.
- Fatigue. It is often hard to tell but fatigue is one of the many signs of liver damage. It is mostly caused because the liver is not functioning normally as it should. Some people may have constant weakness.
- Changes in food habits. If you have unexplained weight loss or reduced appetite, talk to your doctor immediately, especially if the problem persists for more than a few days. You may have some level of digestive discomfort, as well, and there might be pain in certain parts of the abdomen.
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