Everybody knows that alcohol and regular drinking can damage the liver, but besides the morning after a night out, you probably don’t give this organ much thought. The largest organ of the human body is the skin, and the liver comes in second. It’s the poison control center for your entire system, filtering out harmful substances before they enter the blood stream, and helping the body turn food into energy. It’s no surprise that when the liver starts to fail, the body fails with it.
It is vital to ensure that your liver is healthy in order to live a healthy life. It can be argued that good health starts with the liver, so it’s important to give it some more thought from time to time. Even if you avoid alcohol already, there are plenty of diseases that the liver is still susceptible to, including Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD.
But how can you tell if your liver is unhealthy? Here are five signs that can help.
1. Confusion and a Loss of Energy
If you’re experiencing fatigue, weakness, or a general lack of energy, you could have an unhealthy or toxic liver. Fatigue that’s combined with nausea, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite are some of the first signs of liver failure.
According to the American Liver Foundation, toxins can also build up in your brain due to a failing liver. This will cause problems with concentration, sleep, and memory.
2. Blood Clotting and High Cholesterol
Hypertension and high cholesterol levels are both symptoms of obesity and underlying liver disease.
Being obese puts a great deal of stress on your body as a whole, and it makes the liver’s job that much harder to do. If you have problems with weight, you need to check your cholesterol levels more frequently, and it’s probably a good idea to check your blood enzymes for signs of liver disease as well.
Jaundice is present in the body when the skin, nails, and whites of the eyes become yellow.
If you notice this happening to you, you need to seek medical attention right away. Jaundice is a sign that the liver is not only failing, but has progressed to a state of cirrhosis. This is incredibly serious and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
4. Swelling in the Abdomen or Legs
Swelling is the body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Inflammation of the organs is no different, so if your liver is toxic, you’ll probably notice swelling in the abdomen.
The problem is that inflammation of the liver means that the toxicity is advanced, and you need to be greatly concerned. This is especially scary for people who are overweight as the swelling will be much harder to notice. Advanced toxicity can be diagnosed through swelling of the lower legs as well.
5. Sensitive Skin
Itchy skin or spider veins can also be indicators of a toxic liver as they are both symptoms of edema or inflammation occurring underneath the skin. People who also suffer from diabetes may notice their skin take on a bronze coloration when liver failure is close at hand.