Liver damage can manifest in a number of ways. Signs of liver damage are not normally noticeable until the damage has progressed to a certain stage. Advanced damage including fibrosis or cirrhosis usually results in end-stage liver disease and the loss of the ability of the liver to repair itself. At this stage, a liver transplant might be necessary. However, this is something that only you may be aware of; you should contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The following are some signs of liver damage that most people tend to ignore.
Alcohol abuse can often lead to fatty liver; another common symptom of alcohol abuse is jaundice. Jaundice is caused when the red blood cells in the body are unable to control the production of bile. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause the bile ducts to shrink which causes excessive amounts of bile to be made, which can be harmful to the health of the liver. Liver damage can also occur when alcohol is consumed on a regular basis. Heavy drinkers will often have a yellow discoloration to their skin due to the excessive breakdown of bile pigments in the liver.
Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and there are two main types of jaundice – hyperproteinemia and hyperchiamia. Hyperchiamia is caused by an increased rate of protein breakdown, which can be caused by high fat diet, poor nutrition and alcohol. Hyperproteinemia is usually caused by excess protein breakdown and is characterised by yellowing of the skin, raised blood pressure and abdominal pain.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is likely that your liver has been damaged. To confirm this, it is important to get a tissue sample tested. Liver enzymes are used to measure the levels of these chemicals in the blood, and if they are falling, then this is a good sign. The other problem with these symptoms of liver damage is that they tend to appear during periods when you are not engaging in alcohol or substance abuse. For example, if you are having morning sickness and feel unusually tired throughout the day, this could be due to the fact that your liver is working extra hard in order to rid the body of alcohol toxins.
Signs of damage to the liver can also be caused by inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the infection has spread into the tissues surrounding the liver. Common causes of this type of inflammation are alcohol, pharmaceuticals, insect bites and pollution. Inflammation of this type can cause serious damage to the liver and it means that your liver won’t function properly and could fail completely.
One of the most common causes of liver damage is alcoholism. Unfortunately, there are many people who drink heavily and do not realize that this is what they are doing. If you want to stop drinking, you need to ensure that you stop drinking for the sake of your liver cells and your overall health. When you stop drinking, you will also stop putting stress on your liver. You will be in much better physical condition if you stop drinking, and this will improve the function of your liver and stop fibrosis from occurring.
Fatigue is another common sign of liver disease. Most of us know that drinking can make us feel drunk, but few of us realise that fatigue can be a side effect. Fatigue occurs because your liver is working overtime to rid your body of alcohol toxins. Your liver cannot handle the amount of alcohol your body is getting every night, so it starts to get fatigued and you will start to feel sluggish and listless. Nausea and headaches are other symptoms of liver problems, which usually occur when your liver is overworked. This is a good time to visit your doctor to have your liver examined, to confirm that you indeed have liver problems and that you need help to heal them.
Liver disease, like all liver disorders, does not have to be terminal. Although you need to limit your alcohol intake if you are suffering from liver damage, you should also look out for other warning signs such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea. These symptoms may sound like they are directly related to alcohol, but they are in fact warning signs of liver damage that you need to be concerned about. If you feel that you have any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis.