The largest gland in the human body system is the liver. There are many vital liver functions that help the body work normally. The liver helps in processing the nutrients produced by digesting food and in the production of essential proteins. Functions of the liver also include recycling red blood cells, metabolism of cholesterol, and removal of excess bile from the body. Apart from this, toxins and carcinogenic substances are removed from the body with the help of the liver. Years of continuous functioning leads to wear and tear of the liver. The liver has the ability to repair itself and continue to function normally. However, over the years, the liver undergoes tremendous wear and tear, and there comes a point where the damage is beyond repair. This gives rise to different liver problems. In order to understand the different conditions, it is important to spot liver problems symptoms early on. Let us have a look at some of the symptoms of liver problems.
Causes of Liver Problems
There are many factors and causes that lead to liver problems. Signs of liver problems can be genetic or occur due to a response to viruses or chemicals. A few of the liver disorders are temporary and fade away with proper treatment. However, most of the problems are very serious and take a long time to heal. A few of the liver problem causes are as follows:
- Acute liver failure
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Bile duct obstruction
- Chronic liver failure
- Liver cirrhosis
- Enlarged liver
- Gilbert's syndrome
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Liver adenoma
- Liver cancer
- Liver cysts
- Liver hemangioma
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Parasitic infection
- Toxic hepatitis
- Wilson's disease
- Budd-Chiari syndrome
Symptoms of Liver Problems
There are many signs and symptoms of liver problems. Let us have a look at the different symptoms that may be observed in people with liver disorders. Liver problems and their symptoms mostly look unrelated to each other. One of such unrelated symptoms is acne. Acne is mostly attributed to hormones and skin conditions. But, it may also be a sign that the liver is not functioning properly. Liver is unable to flush out the toxins from the body and these toxins are present in blood. Thus, leading to these nasty acne eruptions on face and other parts of the body. Another such condition is psoriasis. This condition is often due the fact that the organ is not functioning or is damaged.
Liver symptoms on skin include pale or yellow skin. This yellowing is skin, white part of eyes and nails is known as jaundice. Liver produces bile and when the organ has problems functioning it does not clear the old venous blood properly. This means there are problems with bile production. Thus, one may develop jaundice and other flu-like symptoms. Other symptoms on skin include the appearance of spider-like blood vessels, skin rash, itchy skin, liver spots on face (brown spots), liver spots on skin and blemishes.
Passing dark-colored urine is one of the many liver symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome or light-colored stools also indicate liver problems. This means the liver is not producing enough bile or bilirubin is blocked due to bile duct obstruction. Nausea and vomiting also indicate damage to the liver or other diseases.
Symptoms related to alcohol abuse indicate development of cirrhosis. These problems due to alcohol use includes fatigue, easy bruising, accumulation of alcohol in the abdomen, loss of appetite, swelling in legs (edema) and weight loss. Liver damage signs also includes jaundice, itching, discomfort and pain in abdomen, frequent infections and development of spider angiomas.
Liver problems includes pain. The liver pain location is around the upper region of stomach. One may feel a severe and sudden liver pain that may be a sign of acute or sudden liver problems. In case of certain chronic conditions, one may develop gradual dull pain that increases with time.
Some patients suffer from symptoms related to the nervous system. These symptoms include depression, mood changes, irritability, increase in feeling of anger, poor concentration, overheated body, recurrent headaches as well as foggy brain.
A few patients may develop distended abdomen like swelling under the right lower ribs. Enlarged liver causes severe pain and breathing difficulty as it puts pressure on the diaphragm. Other symptoms include frequent headaches, dizzy spells, spasms, irritability, depression, excessive thirst, urination, mental confusion, etc. Low blood sugar, varicose veins, low-grade fever, bloating, unexplained pain, decrease in sexual desire, etc., all point towards liver problems. A few people may also develop curved and white colored nails as a sign of liver disorder. Bad breath and unusual body odor are also potential indicators of liver problems.
Most of the above liver problems symptoms go unnoticed as they are mostly unrelated to the organ. It is easier to identify symptoms of liver damage in people with alcohol addictions than those affected by viruses and chemicals. If you have any doubts regarding the above warning signs you may have observed with your health, speak to a doctor as soon as possible.