The liver helps in bile production and excretion. Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones and drugs, metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It helps to keep the body healthy and failure of this organ can cause abdominal swelling, nausea, disorientation or confusion among others.
Fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatitis C are common liver issues, all of which impair the health and may lead to other severe health problems. Here are some signs that your liver might be failing.
1. Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
Old blood cells are broken down in the body, creating a yellow pigment known as bilirubin. One of the primary functions of the liver is to excrete bilirubin, but once it is damaged, it tends to store up bilirubin in the blood, giving the eye and skin a yellow color. Other symptoms include dark urine and light feces.
2. Skin spots
A damaged liver won’t work effectively in cleaning the blood, which can cause clots to form near the surface of the skin and result in spider angiomas. Spider angiomas is a type of swollen blood vessels found beneath the skin surface and contains a central red spot and reddish extensions like a spider’s web.
3. Muscle wasting
Progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass is a common feature of chronic liver disease, leading to an oversize belly or swollen ankles with skinny, weak arms and legs. This is due to fluid imbalances resulting from a damaged liver. It is also prominent above the cheeks and around the temples.
Copper accumulation can occur in the blood and brain, following a diseased liver, which can lead to confusion. It presents more like Alzheimer’s and is mostly associated with advanced-stage liver disease.
5. Abdominal aches
The liver is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. If you feel a pain in that area, it is likely a sign that your liver is damaged or inflamed.
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