6 Common Signs and Causes of Liver Damage

//6 Common Signs and Causes of Liver Damage
  • liver damage

The liver is probably the most underrated organ in the body. People talk and write about the heart or brain but rarely the liver. They only realize its importance once they suffer liver damage.

For those who don’t know much about the liver, it sits on the right side of the abdominal cavity. This is on top of the stomach to the right. The functions of the liver include:

  • storing and releasing glucose
  • producing bile, which carries waste and breaks down fat
  • producing cholesterol to move fats around the body
  • converting ammonia to urea, which is removed through urine
  • removing bacteria, drugs, and harmful substances from the bloodstream
  • storing iron by processing hemoglobin

None of these and other functions would be possible with a weakened or damaged liver. Keep reading to learn the causes and signs of liver damage.

Causes of Liver Damage

Health problems related to the liver could be life-threatening. Yet, people don’t know the potential causes of damage. Here are some of them:

Infections Caused By Hepatitis Viruses

The liver can get infections from Hepatitis B and C viruses. These viruses spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids. This can happen through needle sharing or from unprotected sex.

Long-Term Alcohol Drinking

Years of taking alcohol damages liver tissues and replaces them with scar tissue. As the problem progresses, the liver stops functioning properly. Moderating drinking doesn’t help either because of the risk of alcohol abuse.

Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Some drugs affect liver function or damage the liver. This includes prescribed, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs. Others include medicinal herbs and supplements.

Genetic Causes

Unfortunately, an abnormal gene from your parents can lead to liver disease. One example of a genetic liver disease is hemochromatosis.

Cancer

Cancers such as liver cancer or bile duct cancer damage the liver. The cancer might start in another part of the body and spread to the liver.

Let’s now look at the signs of damage.

Signs or Symptoms of Liver Damage

Once the liver suffers damage, you may experience the following symptoms:

1. Nausea and Upset Stomach

The first signs of trouble are nausea and an upset stomach. You might also lose your appetite.

2. Fatigue and Feeling Sickly

As the damage progresses, you may feel generally unwell, fatigued, or lethargic.

3. Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition where the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellowish. It occurs when the liver is unable to clear bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin is a pigment formed as hemoglobin is broken down in the liver.

Left untreated, jaundice can cause abdominal pain, itchiness, and brain damage.

4. Swollen Abdomen

A poorly functioning liver can’t prevent fluid build-up in the abdomen. This causes a swelling condition named Ascites. The patient might also have swollen ankles.

5. Hair Loss

Hair loss problems can be due to a health condition. Damage to the liver is one of them. When the liver is unable to play a role in regulating hormones, hormonal changes can lead to hair loss.

6. Dark Urine

The liver’s inability to process bilirubin out of your system can lead to dark urine production. If the smell is strong and the dark color persists, you should see a doctor.

The liver is probably the most underrated organ in the body. People talk and write about the heart or brain but rarely the liver. They only realize its importance once they suffer liver damage.

For those who don’t know much about the liver, it sits on the right side of the abdominal cavity. This is on top of the stomach to the right. The functions of the liver include:

  • storing and releasing glucose
  • producing bile, which carries waste and breaks down fat
  • producing cholesterol to move fats around the body
  • converting ammonia to urea, which is removed through urine
  • removing bacteria, drugs, and harmful substances from the bloodstream
  • storing iron by processing hemoglobin

None of these and other functions would be possible with a weakened or damaged liver. Keep reading to learn the causes and signs of damage.

Learn More About Being Healthy, Happy, and Beautiful

Taking care of your health is key to being happy and looking beautiful. Avoid consuming alcohol, taking pills irresponsibly, or engaging in risky behavior. This limits the dangers of damaging your liver.

Contact us to learn more about being happy, healthy, and beautiful.

By | 2017-11-27T17:32:12+00:00 November 27th, 2017|Health|

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