When it functions optimally, the liver cleanses the blood; helps digest food, and fights infection. Interestingly, it has the power to heal itself in case of any damage, replacing old tissue with new cells.
As reported by the American Liver Foundation, “Anything that keeps your liver from doing its job — or from growing back after injury — may put your life in danger.” This may be cancer, excessive use of Tylenol, scarring, or inflammation. Even though liver is internal organ, when something is wrong with it, the body shows outward signs.
5 Signs Of Liver Damage
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, people with liver damage tend to bruise or bleed easily due to the compromised function of their liver which has inhibited the production of proteins needed for blood clotting.
Liver disease is listed as an underlying cause of itchy skin by the Mayo Clinic, as well as cancer, thyroid problems, and kidney failure. “The itching usually affects the whole body. The skin may look otherwise normal except for the repeatedly scratched areas.”
As explained by Mayo Clinic, when the liver fails to perform its job properly, people may start to retain water in the legs and abdomens, which in turn leads to swelling.
4. Turning Yellow
According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, the skin and the whites of the eyes may turn yellow when the liver isn’t functioning properly. This yellowing symptom results from the buildup in the blood of bilirubin, a yellowish substance. Also known as jaundice, the yellowing may occur when the liver`s damage prevents it from processing the yellowish substance. Exposure to toxic chemicals, various infections, drinking too much alcohol, abusing ecstasy, and hepatitis are the major causes of this kind of liver damage.
5. Pee and Poop
According to Health Service, jaundice also changes the color of the stool, making it pale, as well as the color of the urine, making it dark.
Sometimes, there is no sign that something`s wrong. As a matter of fact, up to half of the people with liver disease show no signs at all, according to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. As for the mild symptoms, the most common ones “are very nonspecific and they include fatigue or excessive tiredness, lack of drive, occasionally itching.”
As the person goes through the early symptoms, the damage and the accompanying side effects become much more serious. As explained by the American Liver Foundation, people may have their blood vessels leading to the liver burst, which allows the toxins to reach the brain, accumulate, and eventually interfere with mental function.
“As liver failure progresses, the symptoms become more serious,” the foundation says. “The patient may become confused and disoriented, and extremely sleepy. There is a risk of coma and death.” In such case, the patient is left with only option- a liver transplant.