The liver is one of the most vital parts of your body. It acts as a filter for your blood, helps digest food, stores energy, and produce hormones. And those are not all its function; in fact, the liver is responsible for performing as many as 500 different functions in your body. So, you need to keep it healthy because anything that keeps your liver from doing its job may put your life in danger. If you want to know what the telling signs of liver disease are, keep on reading.
1. Jaundice: Your skin and the whites of your eyes could turn yellow when the liver isn’t working properly, as bilirubin (a bile pigment) builds-up in the blood and is unable to be eliminated as waste from the body. Jaundice also causes dark-colored urine and light-colored stools, and the high bilirubin levels it causes can also trigger difficult-to-relieve full-body itching. Common causes of that kind of liver damage are hepatitis, cancer, drinking too much alcohol, abusing ecstasy, exposure to toxic substances and various infections.
2. Swollen Abdomen: Cirrhosis, the serious progression of liver disease, causes fluid build-up in the abdomen (a condition referred to as ascites), as levels of albumin and proteins in the blood and fluid are retained. This may actually make the patient appear pregnant. While ascites can be caused by numerous medical conditions, cirrhosis of the liver is the single most common. Sometimes, swelling can also take place in the ankles, as accumulated fluid is drawn down into the body by the forces of gravity.
3. Nausea and Vomiting: This is a common symptom that occurs due to a lot of diseases. Nausea refers to experiencing an urge to vomit and may be accompanied by sweating and excessive salivation. Vomiting, on the other hand, refers to the actual ejection of the contents of your stomach through your mouth and is usually painful.
4. Itch: Itchy skin that doesn’t seem to go away and develops into a flaky rash is another telltale sign of serious liver damage. Skin irritations result from the body’s lack of fluid flow, which most commonly manifests on the surface of the skin in thick, flaky, itchy patches.
5. Weight Loss: Many types of liver disease can cause decreased appetite as your body is not able to digest the food properly. Liver disease also disrupts your metabolism leading to unexplained and sudden weight loss.