Here are some warning signs of potential liver damage.
The liver is a vital organ that’s responsible for filtering toxins and waste from the blood, producing bile to aid in digestion, and regulating the body’s metabolism. However, liver damage can occur due to a variety of factors such as alcohol consumption, hepatitis, or fatty liver disease.
It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of liver damage so that you can seek medical attention promptly if necessary. Here are six warning signs to watch out for:
Jaundice is a condition where the skin and eyes appear yellow due to a buildup of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin is a waste product that the liver normally removes from the blood. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to process bilirubin properly, leading to jaundice.
Other symptoms of jaundice include dark urine, pale stools, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Itchy Skin
The liver plays a role in maintaining healthy skin by producing proteins that help prevent itching and rashes. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to produce these proteins, leading to itchy skin. It can be a localized itch such as on your arm or can be an itch all over your body.
Itchy skin can also be caused by other factors such as dry skin, allergies, or medication side effects. If your skin is itchy and you have other symptoms of liver damage, such as jaundice or abdominal pain, see a doctor.
3. Spider Angiomas
Spider angiomas are small, red, spider-like veins that appear on the skin. They are caused by a buildup of blood vessels in the skin, which can occur when the liver is damaged and unable to process blood properly.
Spider angiomas can appear anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face, neck, and arms. If you notice spider angiomas on your skin, especially along with other symptoms of liver damage, it’s important to see a doctor.
4. Frequent Bruising or Bleeding
The liver plays a crucial role in blood clotting, which helps prevent excessive bleeding. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to produce enough clotting factors. This can lead to frequent bruising or bleeding.
If you notice that you’re bruising easily or experiencing frequent nosebleeds, see a doctor. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, but should always be taken seriously.
Liver damage can cause a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, leading to swelling and discomfort. This condition is called ascites and is a sign of advanced liver disease.
Swelling can also occur in the legs and ankles, which is called peripheral edema. If you notice swelling in your abdomen, legs, or ankles, see a doctor as soon as possible.
6. Vomiting of Blood
Vomiting blood, also known as hematemesis, can occur when the liver is damaged and unable to filter toxins properly. This can cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
If you experience vomiting of blood or notice blood in your stools, seek medical attention immediately.
Liver damage can have serious consequences if left untreated, but early detection and treatment can prevent further damage. If you experience any of the above symptoms or have concerns about your liver health, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Remember, prevention is key to maintaining liver health. Limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting vaccinated for hepatitis all help reduce the risk of liver damage.