Your body is a complicated structure with different organs and parts, all working together to ensure that you get going all day, every day. The only problem is that you may find yourself paying less attention to the parts and organs whose functions in your body are critical for your wellbeing.
One of these organs is the liver. Yes, you heard it right. You may have thought that your liver does only one job: to aid digestion in your body. The truth, however, is that your liver is responsible for about 500 functions in your body, making it one of the vital organs.
Fun thought: Did you know that your liver is also the largest gland in your body? Well, now you know.
If you come to think of it, your liver is simply one of the most faithful and hardworking friends. It’s a built-in, ultra-effective toxin remover that ensures your body is always free of unwanted materials.
There are times, however, when all is not well, and your liver starts crying out for help. With the following tips, it will become easier to know when things are not right with your hardworking friend:
Of course, one of the most obvious signs of a problem in your body is pain. Our bodies are designed in a way that makes them easier to alert us when things are not right.
When your liver is not working effectively and has a problem, you will experience a sharp or dull pain around the upper, right area of the abdomen. That’s mostly as a result of painful swelling up of the liver.
2. Swollen ankles and joints
You may decide to ignore the simplest indications of a malfunctioning liver, but it will always keep warning you as things get worse. As you keep ignoring the problem, your liver, being the smart organ it is, will try to repair itself at the cost of scarring.
As scar tissue increases in your body, it’ll become harder for the liver to repair itself, resulting in portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the liver’s veins). One of the main effects or portal hypertension is the buildup of fluid in the lower part of your body, mainly around your ankles.
3. Loss of appetite
This can sound like a good thing to those who struggle with weight, and can’t seem to shed the extra pounds simply because they are unable to keep off the food that makes them gain weight. However, loss of appetite is no joke when it’s caused by a liver problem in your body.
You can easily lose your appetite as a result of the digestive issues caused by an overworked or malfunctioning liver. Loss of appetite may be one of the earliest signs of a problem in your liver, so be sure to visit your doctor when your food doesn’t seem to excite you anymore.
4. Weight gain
The most common reasons for excessive and stubborn weight are hormone malfunction and unhealthy lifestyles, especially unhealthy eating. If your weight issues are not caused by unhealthy eating or a hormone malfunction, you might want to have your doctor check your liver.
When the liver is not functioning properly and fails to effectively filter out toxins from your body, it stores the toxins in your fat cells, resulting in weight gain, the weight that is so hard to lose, unless if you restore your liver’s health.
You may not have expected this one to be in the list of symptoms to look out for when one has liver problems. A sluggish and malfunctioning liver can’t effectively eliminate the unwanted items in your blood.
As such, when too many unwanted substances enter the bloodstream, your brain will interpret such as allergens, and will, therefore fight back by releasing chemicals and antibodies meant to deal with the allergens. Chemicals like histamine cause itching which can be severe sometimes and commonly affect your soles and palms.
6. Yellow skin and eyes
Jaundice is the medical name given to the illness symptom that causes yellow skin and eyes. One thing you may want to keep in mind is that jaundice is not an illness. It’s more like a symptom of possible illnesses.
When red blood cells are broken down in the liver, a yellow pigment referred to as bilirubin is formed. If your liver is not functioning normally, it can’t get rid of the bilirubin effectively. As such, your skin and eyes will turn yellow as a symptom of a possible problem in your body.
7. Easy bruising
Even though bruising easily can also be a symptom of other medical issues, it’s also caused by an unhealthy liver. Getting nicks and bruises is a normal thing until you notice that you are the one who tends to bruise more easily compared to others.
Bruises are usually as a result of the blood vessels that are closer to your skin. A healthy liver is supposed to produce proteins that aid in blood clotting. As expected, a liver that is not working properly will not produce enough protein to facilitate easier clotting of blood, resulting in easy bleeding and bruising.
While the above symptoms signify the possibility of a malfunctioning liver, it’s only a professional and certified doctor who can tell whether and how bad your liver problem is. Besides, if the problem is not so serious, your liver can heal itself. The secret here is leading a healthier lifestyle and seeking medical attention to get advice and possibly medication that will help you get better.