Apart from being the largest organ in the human body, the liver is also one of the vital organs your body depends on for proper function. The liver is in charge of several functions, some of which include:
- Blood cleansing
- Secreting bile, which is essential for digestion
- Storing glycogen, a form of sugar that produces energy
When the liver is damaged, some of the vital body functions become compromised. This eventually becomes life-threatening.
Liver damage can occur as a result of many factors, but people don’t normally address the issue until it’s too late.
Therefore, recognizing the warning signs your liver sends is crucial for successful treatment. These are some of the most important signs of liver damage that you should never ignore.
Skin yellowing is one of the first signs of liver damage. This happens as a result of bilirubin buildup as a damaged liver is unable to filter out toxins properly. Bilirubin is a form of bile pigment, which accumulates in the blood when liver function is compromised and the liver can’t remove the bilirubin. Bile is secreted by the liver to help digestion.
The free flow of bilirubin in the blood makes the skin turn yellow. It’s the fingernails, the tips of your fingers and toes, as well as the eyes that first turn yellow.
Changes in Stools and Urine
Although you shouldn’t do this on regular basis, but checking your urine and stool is something you should do every now and then. If either is becoming discolored or changes in consistency, liver damage could be the cause. Dark and foamy urine, as well as pale and thin stool require immediate medical attention.
Sudden bloating can also be a symptom of liver malfunction because when the liver is damaged, it retains fluid, which in turn makes your stomach bloated.
Pain in the Abdomen
Sharp abdominal pain as well as stomach cramping is also an indicator that something is wrong with your liver. The thing is any liver malfunction can cause pain in your abdomen. If you feel this type of pain, especially in the left side of your abdomen, see a doctor immediately.
Acid Reflux and Vomiting
Liver damage can also be marked by increased acid reflux because a damaged liver can push digestive juices up into your esophagus, thus triggering acid reflux and indigestion. This can eventually result in vomiting.
Any of these signs should act as a warning that requires medical attention, especially if you know that early recognition increases your chances of successful treatment.