6 Early Warning Signs Of Liver Damage
Here are warning signs that your liver is suffering and how to prevent damage. According to the John Hopkins Medicine Health Library, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases are common causes of death in the U.S. It also states that, on average, 31,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cirrhosis. So it’s imperative for people to look for signs of liver damage.
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6. Yellow Skin or Eyes (Jaundice): 0:11
5. Confusion: 1:08
4. Muscle Wasting: 1:46
3. Abdominal Aches: 2:16
2. Pain In Your Joints: 3:17
1. Skin Spots: 3:43
6. Yellow Skin or Eyes (Jaundice): Jamile Wakim-Fleming, a liver disease expert at Cleveland Clinic, explains that damaged liver causes your skin or eyes to become yellow because it allows bilirubin (a yellow compound) into your blood. If your liver is healthy, it will be able to dispose of bilirubin, Fleming adds.
5. Confusion: One of the signs of liver damage is if you begin to experience confusion. According to Fleming, a damaged liver can allow too much copper to build up in your blood and brain. This can lead to Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. She adds that if you’re experiencing this, chances are it’s not the only symptom you’ve experienced. Confusion is associated with advanced-stage liver disease.
4. Muscle Wasting: If you have an oversized stomach with swollen ankles and skinny/weak arms and legs, it could be a direct result from fluid imbalances that are commonly caused by a diseased liver, says Fleming. This can also occur around your temples and or above your cheeks. Fleming adds that these symptoms are late-stage liver disease symptoms, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll experience these symptoms out of the blue.
3. Abdominal Aches: According to Bruce Bacon, a professor of internal medicine at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, one common sign of liver damage is abdominal aches. Bacon says you’ll feel swelling or pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen. The reason it’ll be the right side is that the fat end of the liver is on the right side.
2. Pain In Your Joints: Fleming states that vomiting, joint pain, fatigue and loss of appetite are all interrelated symptoms of liver disease – mainly autoimmune hepatitis. This is a condition where your immune system attacks the cell tissues in your liver. According to the National Institutes of Health, this condition is more common in women than men.
1. Skin Spots: According to Fleming, if your liver is not properly cleaning the blood in your body, clotting issues can occur near the surface of your skin. Fleming adds that these clotting issues can cause large skin blemishes.
How to Prevent Liver Damage: One way to prevent your liver from being damaged is to increase your intake of vitamin E. When making changes to your diet, you should also incorporate more foods like nuts into your diet. Vitamin E can help minimize the symptoms of liver disease, and nuts are high in vitamin E. It can help reduce symptoms of liver disease by preventing cell damage, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Some of the best sources of vitamin E are nuts, wheat germ, seeds, vegetable oils and leafy greens.
One thing you can do to improve your liver health is eat a diet that is rich in nutrients. You should also eliminate large portion sizes from your diet. Overeating can cause liver damage, and limiting your portion sizes can help reduce how many calories you are eating every day, which can help with weight loss and ultimately minimize liver damage.
Monitor Your Alcohol Intake: Alcohol abuse is the number one cause of liver damage. The easiest way to ensure that your liver is healthy is to watch how much you consume. People who drink a lot of alcohol can damage their liver because whenever a person's liver filters alcohol, it has to work harder to filter it. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can also cause buildup of alcohol fatty liver disease. In fact, a study completed by London's Royal Free Hospital studied regular drinkers who cut out alcohol for one entire month. The results of the study proved that there was an average of a 15 percent decrease in liver fat. The study also showed that the people who cut alcohol from their systems showed cholesterol and blood sugar level improvements.