The liver is one of the most important organs of the body and it is important to keep it as healthy as possible. If any (or all) of these signs sound familiar, it might be time to visit your doctor.
You can’t stop itching
Believe it or not, a sick liver can cause itching all over your body. Doctors aren’t sure of the reason why but some believe it to be related to bile salt.
Bile is a digestive substance produced by the liver, but in people with primary biliary cirrhosis (an autoimmune liver disease that causes the bile duct to collapse), that bile can accumulate and cause noticeable symptoms, like itching.
You’re Constantly Tired
Persistent fatigue is almost always a sign that something’s not right in your body. Liver disease can cause this.
You’re a Heavy Drinker
Excessive, chronic alcohol use can do a real number on your liver over time, eventually leading to liver disease. The liver helps rid your body of chemicals and toxins, so consistently pumping it full of alcohol means it’s working overtime.
Your Eyes Turn Yellow
Yellow eyes are a sign your liver isn’t doing very well and is probably the most specific sign of liver disease. A yellow coloured substance known as bilirubin is usually broken down by the liver so it can be removed from the body, but when the liver is struggling it can cause bilirubin to build up, leading to yellowing of the whites of the eyes.
Your Tummy Fills With Fluid
If your belly suddenly balloons and doesn’t stop, it could be more than ordinary bloating. Increased pressure within the blood vessels around the liver can lead to fluid buildup in the abdomen. It’s important to see a doctor, who will be able to tell you if you’re bloated from gas, food, or fluid.
You have Hepatitis A, B, or C
When viruses or parasites infect the liver, it leads to inflammation and reduced liver function.
The most common types of liver infection are the hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis A is spread by coming into contact with a contaminated person’s feaces or by ingesting compromised food and drink, while B and C are most commonly transmitted through blood, sex, or contact with other bodily fluids.
There are some really good treatments out there if you have hepatitis C, which is why it is important you get tested. Talk to your doctor about what other steps you can take to keep your liver as healthy as possible.