Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Symptoms you should not ignore that indicate liver disease

Narada Desk | August 7, 2016 4:15 pm Print
These common symptoms that you avoid indicate damaged liver. Find out the signs and symptoms of a liver disease....

Acute damage to the liver (hepatitis virus, alcohol abuse) may result in the direct destruction of hepatocytes, resulting in release of hepatic enzymes and bile into the circulation, thus nausea, vomiting and jaundice. A toxic overload may result in permanent liver injury and death (as happens with acetaminophen overdose).

Signs and symptoms of liver disease include:

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you. Seek immediate medical attention if you have abdominal pain that is so severe that you can’t stay still.

The liver is both a detoxifying and synthesizing organ—it processes everything from nutrients in food to pharmaceuticals and produces a number of essential substances, like bile, albumin (a serum protein) and blood clotting factors. The entire gastrointestinal blood supply returns to the heart through the liver.

Acute damage to the liver (hepatitis virus, alcohol abuse) may result in the direct destruction of hepatocytes, resulting in release of hepatic enzymes and bile into the circulation, thus nausea, vomiting and jaundice. A toxic overload may result in permanent liver injury and death (as happens with acetaminophen overdose).

Long-term injury to the liver results in fibrosis (stiffening) and cirrhosis (scarring), which may impair the liver’s ability to process toxins as well as synthesize necessary proteins. The effects could include mental changes due to ammonia excess, fluid leakage from circulation and resulting accumulation of fluid in the abdomen or extremities (due to insufficient serum albumin, which lowers the oncotic pressure of the circulation, as well as increased back pressure through the liver), and reduced blood clotting ability due to insufficient levels of serum clotting proteins.

Medications and diet may require alteration (protein restriction to limit the formation of ammonia, for example). Chronic liver injury may also result in development of carcinoma (cancer) of the liver.

Pain and discomfort may be felt in the upper right side of the abdomen where the liver is located. Pain may be caused by the liver growing in size due to the accumulation of fat, acute inflammation or any injury that can expand and stretch the sensitive membrane covering the liver.Liver disease can disrupt blood flow in the liver or cause tumors (benign or malignant) to develop, which adds to the mass of the liver. Some of the most common causes of hepatomegaly are metastatic cancer, hepatomegaly, fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

Jaundice is indicated by a yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes and nails. This is caused by the damaged liver failing to adequately process bilirubin, the waste product that occurs when old red blood cells are broken down. An excess of bilirubin accumulates in the blood and deposits in the skin, which causes the yellowish discoloration.

 

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