This information is very useful because knowing how to recognize the symptoms of liver disease can save your or someone else’s life. As with so many diseases and illnesses, if theliver disease is spotted early enough, it can be treated, and cured (the causes will be identified and avoided in the future), and your liver can fully recover, replace theold damaged tissue with new healthy tissue.This is only if the disease has not progressed enough, so that is one more reason why you should learn the warning signs for liver disease.
A gland and an organ
The largest internal organ that you have in your body is your liver (and also the largest internal gland). A normal liver in a healthy adult will weigh approximately between 3 to 3.5 pounds and it plays a crucial role in a many of body system functions.
The functions of the liver
The key functions of the liver are to enhance your digestive system by creating bile and to detoxify your blood, which helps to break down the fats that you consume into small pieces, making them easier for your small intestine to absorb them. But that is not all. Here is a quick summary of what your liver does for you:
- It stores glucose
- It stores some of your body’s iron and vitamins
- It detoxes your blood, filtering out any unwanted and harmful substances like alcohol and drugs
- It eliminates old red blood cells, which produces fecal matter which is normally brown in color. This is why when your stools are discolored (i.e. not brown) it means that there is something wrong with your liver function.
- It converts ammonia into urea, an essential ingredient for healthy metabolism
- It processes insulin, hemoglobin and a variety of other hormones
- it produces bile to aid digestion
- It converts glucose into sugar that the body can use when the body’s sugar levels become depleted
Any holistic health lifestyle without a healthy liver, will become severely compromised, and depending on the severity and the nature of the disease, could be fatal, which is why it’s so important to be able to interpret and detect the early symptoms of liver disease.
In some posts you might encounter hepatic disease, that is almost the same as liver disease. When a significant increase in liver function can be detected, that’s when any type of hepatic disease affects up to three quarters of your liver tissue.
The causes of liver disease
Liver disease can be caused in a number of different ways.
- The tissue of the liver may be damaged and attacked by toxins
- A build-up of cholesterol may occur
- The passage of bile may becomes obstructed, as in cholestasis
- The cells might be inflamed, as with hepatitis
- The flow of blood to the liver can be damaged
Cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver disease in North America. The stagewhen the liver sustains severe scarring and cannot regenerate replacement tissueis known as cirrhosis of the liver, and this is responsible for approximately 25,000 deaths every year in North America.
The classic symptoms of liver disease
The most frequent and common symptoms of liver diseaseinclude:
- Jaundice: the yellowing of the skin which can often also be evidenced in the whites of the eyes
- Increased tendency to perspire excessively
- Black circles beneath the eyes
- Inflamed soles of feet and palms
- Brown blemishes on the skin
- Discolored stools
- Flushed facial appearance
- Swollen eyeballs
- Pain – which is felt in the uppermost right hand quadrant of the abdomen
- Bad body odor
- Coated tongue
- Bad breath
Some people also suffer from weight loss and fatigue.
These symptoms of liver disease are closely related to the hepatic disease in general. But there are also many specific,different, diseases or illnesses that affect the liver, and each of these has its own specific symptoms.