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10 Signs Your Liver Is In Trouble

by Carolyn Lee Jan 20, 2020

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Each organ in the body has unique functions that contribute to our wellbeing.  

One of the hardest working organs in our body is the liver. 

The liver carries out over 500 important functions in our bodies and is also the only organ that can regenerate. 

Damage to the liver over time can result in cirrhosis (scarring). Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure, which can have life-threatening repercussions.  

Our body is great at letting us know when something is wrong.  

We’ve prepared a short list of reminders of how our liver helps with our health and a few of the ways it alerts us of illnesses. 

Key liver functions include purging the body of toxins and aiding with digestion.  

It filters blood, breaks down proteins, stores vitamins and minerals and metabolises fats to aid with digestion.  

The liver produces proteins that helps your blood to clot. It also breaks down carbohydrates and stores it for later use by the body, among other functions. 

Genetics, infections, cancers and growths and abnormalities with the immune system can result in liver disease. Other well-known causes are chronic alcohol abuse and excessive fat accumulating in the liver. 

Genetics: This may result from an abnormal gene being passed to a child from one or both parents. This abnormal gene can lead to an accumulation of substances in the liver.  

Some liver diseases linked to genetics include:  

1. Wilson’s Disease – too much copper in the body. 

2. Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis – too much oxalate in urine and an excessive amount of oxalate in the body after kidney failure. 

3. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – insufficient production of ATT in the lungs. 

4. Hemochromatosis – too much iron. 

Infections: Inflammation caused by parasites or viruses can reduce liver functions. The most common infections are caused by Hepatitis viruses. 

CancersCholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma are the most common cancers that affect the liver. Other cancers and growths are bile duct cancer and liver adenoma. 

Abnormalities with our immune system: Some diseases that affect the immune system may also attack the liver.  

These autoimmune liver diseases are:

1. Primary sclerosing cholangitis, a progressive disease of the liver and gallbladder.

2. Autoimmune Hepatitis, the immune system attacks the liver. 

3. Primary biliary cirrhosis the slow, progressive destruction of the small bile ducts of the liver that causes bile and other toxins to accumulate in the liver. 

Signs and symptoms of liver disease: 

1. Jaundice

2. Swelling in the stomach 

3. Itchy skin 

4. Dark urine or light-coloured stool 

5. Loss of appetite 

6. Swelling in the legs and ankles 

7. Chronic fatigue 

8. Pain and swelling in the abdomen 

9. Nausea and vomiting 

10. Bruising easily 

We all desire good health.  Let’s use these reminders to assist us in taking great care of our liver. You must speak to your health care provider if you display signs or symptoms of liver disease. 

The content of this article is for information purposes. 

Sources: WebMDReaders DigestMayo ClinicMedicine Plus, Best LifeCleveland Clinic and Medical News Today