The liver is a very vital organ in the body which performs several usually unnoticeable but very important functions. As such, everyone should know about the liver, its function and the causes of liver damage and liver disease symptoms. This information will help individuals to safeguard an essential organ.
The Liver and its functions
The liver is a very important bodily organ which exists in vertebrates and many other animals. It performs several functions which includes protein synthesis, detoxification and production of biochemicals which are used in the digestive process. The liver supports the most vital organs in the body and is critical for everyday living. Due to its location and unique yet varied functions, the liver can become prone to many diseases. There are some persons who experience full blown liver disease. There are liver damage as well as liver disease symptoms.
A significant amount of liver disease occurences occur with jaundice which is the result of increased amounts of bilirubin inthe circulatory system. Bilirubin is the result of the disintegration of the haemoglobin of inactive red blood cells in the body. The liver is normally responsible for the removal of bilirubin from the blood and it excretes it through bile.
Diseases that interrupt the normal processes of the liver will lead to disorientation of these processes. However, the liver has a known ability to replenish and has a large reserve. In some instances, the liver will only produce symptoms after extensive damage has been done to it.
Liver diseases are usually diagnosed by liver function tests.
Liver disease symptoms include:
- The liver no longer produces blood clotting elements so cuts take a significantly longer time to heal
- Loss of appetite- (this has to be accompanied by at least 5 other factors before one can say liver failure is the cause of this)
- The stool has a pale color.
- Darkening of the urine.
- Skin continuously scratches and cannot be relieved by drugs.
- The abdomen, ankles and feet begin to swell as the liver no longer makes albumin.
- Feeling of fatigue due to nutrient loss.
- Excessive bleeding when bruised.
- Breathing problems.
- Excessive weight gain (known as bloating)
Liver damage symptoms may be experienced as milder versions of these.
Due to the blood no longer being able to filter properly into the liver, it is kept in vessels that would not otherwise handle this amount of activity and cause increased pressure. This is called ‘portal hypertension’. These vessels may become weak in spots and balloon protruding outwards.
Liver damage symptoms and liver disease symptoms normally manifest themselves at an early stage so the patient can always minimize the adverse effects of the condition. Always check with a doctor regularly and eat right! An active lifestyle will go a far way as well so remember to include exercise as part of the daily routine.