Do you know if your liver is healthy? It is difficult to know just how healthy your liver is simply because it is inside of us. However, there are signs and symptoms you can look out for that are indicators of an unhealthy liver. If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, see your doctor to test your liver function.
Abdominal pain with swelling
Abdominal pain with swelling is another common sign of liver problems. However, it does not usually occur until later on. The swelling may appear before the abdominal pain does. Unless the liver is quite enlarged, swelling will usually not be significant over the area of the abdomen where the liver is. The pain is usually felt near the upper abdomen, particularly on the right side and upper middle part of the abdomen.
Nausea, weight loss, diarrhea
Another common symptom of an unhealthy liver is nausea. The nausea associated with liver dysfunction can range from mild to very severe. It can cause a person to become very sick and vomit which usually occurs shortly after eating. Liver dysfunction may also cause diarrhea. The combination of a reduced appetite and diarrhea eventually leads to weight loss. It is also the result of the liver being unable to metabolize and digest nutrients properly.
Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, eyes, and sometimes inside the mouth. It is one of the most common signs of an unhealthy liver and may even indicate liver disease. It is caused by a buildup of bilirubin inside the body. The liver normally processes and excretes bilirubin in bile. But when the liver isn’t functioning properly, the bilirubin builds up in the body. Bilirubin is produced when red blood cells are being broken down, which is a normal process in the body. When red blood cells are broken down excessively, jaundice can occur. This can happen even when the liver is functioning normally.
Pale stool and/or dark urine
Having pale stools and/or dark urine may indicate liver problems. Our stool is normally tan to brown in color due to the bilirubin that is broken down in the digestive system. But when the liver is not working properly, it cannot process bilirubin and excrete it with bile in the digestive tract. As a result, there is usually a discoloration of stool and may appear pale instead. The body may try to make up for this by increasing the amount of bilirubin excreted through the kidneys, which causes the urine to look dark in color.
Unexplained fatigue is another common symptom of an unhealthy liver. The reason for this is unclear. The fatigue is usually persistent and unable to be overcome simply by getting more rest. Therefore, people often complain of being fatigued in the morning, even after what seemed like a good night’s rest.
While itchy skin can occur for a number of various reasons such as irritation or skin disease, it is also a common sign of liver dysfunction. Itchy skin as a result of liver dysfunction may be present without the sign of a rash. It is also usually not present in just one area, but throughout the whole body. Itchy skin may also be the only symptom of liver dysfunction that is present for quite some time until other symptoms appear.