The liver is definitely one of the most important organs in the human body. Located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, the liver is responsible for many functions, including metabolic and synthetic activities. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to all the warning signs in order to detect liver damage immediately.
People should be aware of the different symptoms of liver disease. If you can detect the disease early, it will be easier to control the disease.
Why is the liver important?
The importance of the liver is related to its following functions.
Production of bile, which helps break down and absorb fats in the small intestine
Synthesis of proteins such as coagulation factors and albumin
Metabolism and storage of carbohydrates for use as blood glucose
Regulation of blood coagulation
Excretion of bilirubin by metabolism or secretion
Conversion of ammonia to urea in protein metabolism
Fight infection by developing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
Biochemical waste removal, detoxification of alcohol, environmental toxins and some drugs
What causes liver damage?
In general, liver disease is defined as any abnormality in liver function that leads to disease. However, some liver diseases are chronic and accumulate over time, leading to advanced liver failure.
There are two types of liver damage: acute liver disease and chronic liver disease.
During acute liver disease – patients with hepatitis A and E have symptoms such as weakness, fever, and abdominal pain. Later, the patient may develop jaundice.
In chronic liver disease, the damage is slow but progressive, and there may be no problems in the first days. In the later stages, the patient will notice weight loss, leg swelling, jaundice, etc.
Warning signs of liver damage
- Itchy skin
One of the common symptoms of liver disease is itchy skin. If your skin is itchy, it could be a sign of obstructive jaundice. It can be caused by several pathologies – stones in the bile duct, tumor of the bile duct or head of the pancreas, primary biliary cirrhosis.
Liver disease usually does not have a rash or skin lesions associated with itching. Excessive scratching, on the other hand, can cause visible irritation, redness, and infection.
- Spider angioma
If you see small spider-shaped capillaries under the skin of your face or legs, you should check for liver disease. This condition is caused by high levels of estrogen, which indicates that your liver is not working well enough to metabolize your hormones.
Spider angiomas are more common in people with alcoholic cirrhosis (liver disease) than in people without alcoholic liver cirrhosis.
- Constant bruising and bleeding
Bleeding and bruising easily after an injury is a clear sign of an unhealthy liver. It can be caused by a lack of a special protein needed for blood clotting, which can lead to some liver problems.
Bleeding and bruising under the skin. Bruising can be black, blue, brown or purple in color when it first appears. They fade and change color.
- Swelling of the feet
With chronic liver disease, you may experience fluid retention in your legs.
It makes the feet swollen. Fluid builds up in the legs (edema) due to increased pressure in the portal vein (ascites).
Also, the inability of the liver to produce blood proteins such as albumin causes edema and ascites.
- Swelling in the abdomen is called ascites
In chronic liver disease, fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity, causing abdominal distention.
Leakage of fluid from the surface of the liver and intestines can cause ascites and fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. Ascites in liver disease is often associated with other symptoms of liver disease, such as portal hypertension. Abdominal swelling is one of the symptoms of ascites.
Causes of ascites may include:
Cirrhosis of the liver, especially alcohol-induced cirrhosis
Hepatic vein obstruction
- Vomiting blood
If a patient with liver cirrhosis develops symptoms of vomiting blood, emergency care is required.
In chronic liver failure, the health condition can be delayed until sudden events such as vomiting blood or passing stools occur.
Bleeding from the veins of the esophagus and stomach is the most common cause of vomiting and blood in the stool.