What is the largest internal organ and gland in the body? If you guessed the liver, top score! In an adult, it can be the size of a soccer ball. It has 500 important functions, but the three most important are to secrete bile for digestion, to clear toxins from the blood, and to store glucose when energy is needed. If something goes wrong in these areas, liver disease will occur. Here are 10 warning signs to look out for. Of course, always consult your doctor if you suspect liver disease. This article is not a substitute for medical advice.
- You may have hepatitis.
There are five main types of hepatitis caused by viruses that attack the liver. The three most important are hepatitis A, B, and C. You can get hepatitis A by eating contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B is usually transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person, but it can also be contracted through unsterilized needles. Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with the blood of an infected person.
The first symptoms of hepatitis can be flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. As symptoms worsen, dizziness, poor circulation, and dark urine may occur. Treatment for hepatitis A and B is rest and a diet high in protein and carbohydrates. Interferon is sometimes prescribed to patients with variants B and C. Because the liver is inflamed, treatment focuses on allowing it to heal and function again.
- Excessive alcohol consumption affects your liver.
The medical term for this is ARLD (alcoholic liver disease). The problem with this disorder is that there are no clear signs or symptoms in the early stages, so it remains hidden. Of course, if you’re drinking too much alcohol, you should get regular checkups to see how your liver is handling it. These blood tests are useful because they detect enzymes that are present when the liver is damaged. In the later stages of this disease, symptoms such as confusion, lethargy, and vomiting blood may indicate URLD.
- You may have fatty liver disease.
This disease has nothing to do with excessive alcohol consumption. The medical term is NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). This may indicate an unhealthy diet due to excess fat in the liver. A normal liver contains almost no fat. It is very common in the UK and is thought to affect up to 30% of the population, at least in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis, heart attack, and stroke. Early symptoms may include discomfort and pain under the ribs, but sometimes the symptoms are vague. Research shows that irregular or insufficient sleep can negatively affect liver function, so the treatment is often as simple as getting enough sleep. Lifestyle changes related to diet and exercise are required.
- Nausea and loss of appetite are likely.
Nausea and loss of appetite may occur after eating. These can be symptoms of other conditions, but when liver function is impaired, the problem is bile production. This bile helps emulsify (or break down) fats so they are absorbed. Nausea is one of the warning signs of liver failure.
- You may feel very tired.
Fatigue and fatigue usually indicate a possible liver problem. When unhealthy, the liver cannot detoxify the blood effectively. One of the methods doctors use to determine whether this fatigue is related to liver disease is the Fatigue Impact Scale. It assesses how fatigue affects physical and mental performance and is often used to measure progress once treatment begins.
- You may feel confused and disoriented.
As mentioned above, the most important function of the liver is to remove toxins from the blood. For example, when we take medicine, the liver filters it and makes it harmless. In addition, when eating protein, ammonia is produced, which detoxifies the liver. However, when the liver is not functioning properly, these toxins accumulate; They can cause brain problems. This condition is also known as hepatic encephalopathy. The patient may become confused and disoriented.
- You may have liver fibrosis.
This disease occurs in the advanced stages of hepatitis C or ARLD. The problem here is that the liver works so poorly that fibroids form and cause scarring. Swelling of the legs and feet due to fluid retention. Itchy hands and feet are also a symptom.
found during other medical tests.
- You may be jaundiced.
A classic warning sign of liver disease is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. It occurs when a certain type of bile (bilirubin) that is released from the liver accumulates and stains the skin.
- Urine may be dark in color.
Dark urine is caused by medication or lack of fluids. However, if the color is much darker than normal and creamy white, it indicates liver disease. In this case, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, which indicates a serious violation of liver function.