Itchy skin liver failure: Types of Liver Problems, Causes, and More
Types of Liver Problems, Causes, and More
Your liver is a vital organ that performs hundreds of tasks related to metabolism, energy storage, and waste filtering. It helps you digest food, convert it to energy, and store the energy until you need it. It also helps filter toxic substances out of your bloodstream.
Liver disease is a general term that refers to any condition affecting your liver. These conditions may develop for different reasons, but they can all damage your liver and affect its function.
Liver disease symptoms vary, depending on the underlying cause. It’s also possible for someone to have liver disease and not have any symptoms at all. However, Hepatitis NSW says that a few general symptoms can indicate some kind of severe liver damage.
- yellowish skin and eyes, known as jaundice
- pale, bloody, or black stools
- enlarged stomach due to ascites, which may make it uncomfortable to lie down or eat
- encephalopathy, a brain issue resulting in marked changes in mood, sleep, and cognition
Many conditions can affect your liver. Here’s a look at some of the main ones.
Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation of the liver. When that inflammation is caused by a virus, it’s referred to as viral hepatitis. Hepatitis can cause liver damage, making it difficult for your liver to function as it should.
Most types of viral hepatitis are contagious, but you can reduce your risk by getting vaccinated for types A and B and by taking other preventive steps, including using a condom during sex and not sharing needles.
Five types of hepatitis include:
- Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is typically spread through contact with contaminated food or water. Symptoms may clear up without treatment, but recovery can take a few weeks.
- Hepatitis B. This type of viral hepatitis can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). It’s spread through bodily fluids, such as blood and semen. While hepatitis B is treatable, there’s no cure for it. Early treatment is key to avoiding complications, so it’s best to get regular screenings if you’re at risk.
- Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can also be acute or chronic. It’s often spread through contact with blood from someone with hepatitis C. While it often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, it can lead to permanent liver damage in its later stages.
- Hepatitis D. This is a serious form of hepatitis that only develops in people with hepatitis B — it can’t be contracted on its own. It can also be either acute or chronic.
- Hepatitis E. Hepatitis E is usually caused by drinking contaminated water. Generally, it clears up on its own within a few weeks without any lasting complications.
Fatty liver disease
Fat buildup in the liver can lead to fatty liver disease.
There are two types of fatty liver disease. These two types can manifest alone, or they can overlap:
- alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by heavy alcohol consumption
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by other factors experts are still trying to understand
Without management, both types of fatty liver disease can cause liver damage, leading to cirrhosis and liver failure. Diet and other lifestyle changes can often improve symptoms and lower your risk of complications.
Autoimmune conditions involve your immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells in your body.
Several autoimmune conditions involve your immune system attacking cells in your liver, including:
- Autoimmune hepatitis. This condition causes your immune system to attack your liver, resulting in inflammation. Without treatment, it can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). This results from damage to the bile ducts in your liver, causing a buildup of bile. PBC can eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis. This inflammatory condition causes gradual damage to your bile ducts. They eventually become blocked, causing bile to build up in your liver. This can lead to cirrhosis or liver failure.
Several genetic conditions, which you inherit from one of your parents, can also affect your liver:
- Hemochromatosis causes your body to store more iron than it needs. This iron remains in your organs, including your liver. This can lead to damage over a long period of time if not managed.
- Wilson’s disease causes your liver to absorb copper instead of releasing it into your bile ducts. Eventually, your liver may become too damaged to store more copper, allowing it to travel through your bloodstream and damage other parts of your body, including your brain.
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency occurs when your liver can’t make enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, a protein that helps prevent enzyme breakdowns throughout your body. This condition can cause lung disease as well as liver disease. There’s no cure, but treatment can help.
Drug-induced liver disease
It’s possible to damage your liver by overexposing it to certain drugs and supplements, as seen in a 2019 study. Many times, this damage can be reversed once you stop taking the drug. But if it continues, the damage can become chronic.
Liver cancer first develops in your liver. If cancer starts elsewhere in the body but spreads to the liver, it’s called secondary liver cancer.
The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. It tends to develop as several small spots of cancer in your liver, though it can also start as a single tumor.
Complications of other liver diseases, especially those that aren’t treated, may contribute to the development of liver cancer.
Cirrhosis refers to scarring that results from liver diseases and other causes of liver damage, such as alcohol use disorder. Cystic fibrosis and syphilis may also lead to liver damage and, eventually, cirrhosis — although these two causes are much less common.
Your liver can regenerate in response to damage, but this process usually results in the development of scar tissue. The more scar tissue that develops, the harder it is for your liver to function properly.
In its early stages, cirrhosis is often treatable by addressing the underlying cause. But without management, it can lead to other complications and become life threatening.
Chronic liver failure typically happens when a significant part of your liver is damaged and can’t function properly. Generally, liver failure related to liver disease and cirrhosis happens slowly. You may not have any symptoms at first. But over time, you might start to notice:
- fatigue and weakness
It’s a serious condition that requires ongoing management.
Acute liver failure, on the other hand, happens suddenly, often in response to an overdose or poisoning.
Certain things can make you more likely to develop certain liver diseases. One of the most well-known risk factors is heavy drinking, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines as more than 8 alcoholic drinks per week for women and more than 15 drinks per week for men.
Other risk factors include:
- sharing needles
- getting a tattoo or body piercing with nonsterile needles
- having a job where you’re exposed to blood and other bodily fluids
- having sex without using protection against sexually transmitted infections
- living with diabetes or high cholesterol
- having a family history of liver disease
- living with extra weight
- being exposed to toxins or pesticides
- taking certain supplements or herbs, especially in large amounts
- mixing certain medications with alcohol
- taking more than the recommended dose of certain medications
While not all liver disease or damage can be prevented, lifestyle choices can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your liver healthy. Like the risk factors above, many of the methods around prevention involve dietary decisions and physical activity.
The American Liver Foundation says that you can help prevent liver disease by:
- eating a nutritious diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
- increasing physical activity
- limiting alcohol
- avoiding smoking and using drugs
- maintaining a moderate weight
- interacting cautiously with toxic chemicals like aerosol cleaners, bug sprays, and other cleaning products
- using a condom or other barrier method during sex
- visiting your doctor for annual physicals, including blood work
If you’re concerned about liver disease, it’s best to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.
They’ll start by looking over your medical history and asking about any family history of liver problems. Next, they’ll likely ask you some questions about symptoms you may be experiencing, including when they started and whether certain things make them better or worse.
Depending on your symptoms, they’ll likely ask you about your drinking and eating habits. Make sure to also tell them about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take, including vitamins and supplements.
Once they’ve collected all this information, they may recommend:
- liver function tests
- a complete blood count test
- CT scans, MRIs, or ultrasounds to check for liver damage or tumors
- a liver biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of your liver and examining it for signs of damage or disease
Many liver diseases are chronic, meaning they last for years and may never go away. But even chronic liver diseases can usually be managed.
For some people, lifestyle changes are enough to control symptoms. These might include:
- limiting alcohol
- maintaining a moderate weight
- drinking more water
- adopting a liver-friendly diet that includes plenty of fiber while avoiding unhealthy fats, refined sugar, and salt
Depending on the specific liver condition you have, your doctor may recommend other dietary changes. For example, people living with Wilson’s disease should limit foods containing copper, including shellfish, mushrooms, and nuts.
Depending on the condition affecting your liver, you may also need medical treatment, such as:
- antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis
- steroids to lower liver inflammation
- blood pressure medication
- medications to target specific symptoms, such as itchy skin
- vitamins and supplements to boost liver health
In some cases, you may need surgery to remove all or part of your liver. Generally, a liver transplant is only done when other options have failed.
Many liver diseases are manageable if you catch them early. Without treatment, however, they can cause permanent damage.
The complications of untreated or unmanaged liver disease can lead to cirrhosis, severe scarring that cannot be reversed. If cirrhosis has gone too far, a liver transplant may be your only option.
Because some liver diseases can develop without symptoms, making it a point to schedule annual physicals, along with the typical physical blood work, can help you and your doctor stay one step ahead.
Focusing on a nutritious diet, physical exercise, and other healthy lifestyle choices such as limiting alcohol can also help with prevention or management.
Liver Disease Stages: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Liver damage typically has four stages, beginning with inflammation and progressing all the way to cirrosis and end-stage liver disease (ESLD).
Liver disease refers to any condition that inflames or damages your liver.
Damage to your liver can accumulate through several stages of liver disease. Each stage has a cumulative effect on your liver’s ability to function properly.
The four stages of liver damage or disease are:
- end-stage liver disease (ESLD)
Learn more about liver damage and disease.
Damage from liver disease can accrue throughout several stages. With each stage, your liver’s ability to function is increasingly affected.
In this early stage, your liver becomes enlarged or inflamed. Many people with liver inflammation don’t experience symptoms. If the inflammation continues, permanent liver damage can occur.
Fibrosis happens when an inflamed liver begins to develop scars.
The scar tissue that’s generated in this stage takes the place of healthy liver tissue, but it can’t perform the same functions. This can start to affect your liver’s ability to function optimally.
Liver fibrosis can be hard to detect because symptoms aren’t often present.
In cirrhosis, severe liver scarring has occurred, leading to a buildup of scar tissue. Because there isn’t as much healthy liver tissue, it becomes very difficult for your liver to function properly.
While symptoms may not have been present in earlier stages, you may begin to experience symptoms of liver disease.
End-stage liver disease (ESLD)
ESLD is an umbrella term that can be used to describe conditions such as:
- decompensated cirrhosis, or advanced cirrhosis
- stage 4 hepatitis C
- chronic liver failure
At this stage, liver function has deteriorated dramatically.
ESLD is associated with complications such as ascites (a type of abdominal swelling) and hepatic encephalopathy (reduced brain function). The only treatment that can reverse ESLD is a liver transplant.
Liver failure is when your liver can’t work well enough to perform its many vital functions, such as clearing your blood of toxic substances and producing bile to help you digest food.
Liver failure can occur due to liver damage caused by liver disease. However, it’s not inevitable that liver damage and disease will lead to liver failure.
Liver failure can be a life threatening emergency, and it may be acute or chronic.
Acute liver failure comes on quickly and often occurs in people who don’t have a preexisting liver condition. Chronic liver failure occurs due to liver damage that develops slowly over time.
Causes of liver damage and failure include:
- viral infections, such as:
- hepatitis A
- hepatitis E
- chronic hepatitis B
- chronic hepatitis C
- genetic conditions, such as Wilson’s disease
- autoimmune conditions, such as autoimmune hepatitis
- alcohol misuse
- alcohol-related liver disease
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- diseases that affect your bile ducts, such as cholangitis
- conditions that affect the veins of the liver, such as Budd-Chiari syndrome
- overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- reactions to other medications, such as antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or antiepileptic drugs
- reactions to herbal supplements, such as ma huang and kava kava
- exposure to toxins, such as those found in industrial chemicals or poisonous wild mushrooms
The cause of liver failure can depend on whether the liver failure is acute or chronic. In some cases, the exact cause of acute liver failure may be unknown. Chronic liver failure is associated with liver damage or disease.
Inflammation and fibrosis, the earliest stages of liver damage or disease, rarely cause noticeable symptoms. Symptoms are associated with more advanced stages.
Symptoms of cirrhosis
Early on, cirrhosis may cause symptoms such as:
- tiredness or weakness
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- mild abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of ESLD
The symptoms of ESLD can include:
- confusion or disorientation
- severe skin itching
- easy bruising or bleeding
- the buildup of fluid in your abdomen, arms, or legs
- abdominal discomfort or pain
- loss of appetite
- darkening of your urine
- pale stools
- blood in your vomit or stool
- nausea or vomiting
They may be present if you have a condition like decompensated cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis C, or advanced chronic liver failure.
When to seek medical attention
Acute liver failure is always a medical emergency. If you’re experiencing symptoms consistent with acute liver failure, seek medical attention immediately.
These symptoms include:
- tiredness or sleepiness
- confusion or disorientation
- abdominal pain or abdominal swelling
- nausea or vomiting
- malaise, or feeling unwell
Chronic liver failure can sometimes be a medical emergency, especially in cases where:
- you develop confusion
- you have internal bleeding
- swelling becomes severe
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To diagnose liver issues, a doctor will start by taking your medical history and performing a physical examination.
Afterward, they may perform a variety of additional tests, including:
- Liver function tests: Liver function tests assess the levels of various proteins and enzymes in your blood. These proteins and enzymes can indicate how well your liver functions.
- Other blood tests: The doctor may also perform a complete blood count or test for conditions that can cause liver damage, such as viral hepatitis or genetic conditions.
- Imaging tests: Imaging technology such as an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI can help the doctor visualize your liver.
- Biopsy: Taking a tissue sample from your liver can help the doctor see if scar tissue is present. The sample can also help them identify what may be causing your condition. Learn more about liver biopsy.
Various treatments are available for liver damage, disease, and failure.
Antiviral medications can treat a viral hepatitis infection, and immune-suppressing medications can treat autoimmune hepatitis.
The doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as part of your treatment. These changes can include:
- abstaining from alcohol
- losing weight, if you have overweight
- avoiding certain medications
Acute liver failure treatment
Acute liver failure is often treated in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). You’ll receive supportive care to help stabilize your condition and help you manage any complications during treatment and recovery.
If a healthcare professional suspects a medication overdose or reaction, they may give you drugs to reverse the effects. A doctor may also recommend a liver transplant for some people with acute liver failure.
Can liver damage be reversed?
According to the advocacy group American Liver Foundation, damage from the inflammation and fibrosis stages of liver failure may be reversed and healed over time if properly identified and treated early.
The liver damage caused by cirrhosis is often not reversible, although it can be slowed or stopped.
If you have ESLD, you may require a liver transplant. During a transplant, a surgeon removes the diseased liver and replaces it with a liver from a healthy donor.
You can help prevent liver damage, disease, and failure by making lifestyle changes that keep your liver happy and healthy. Here are some tips for improving liver health:
- Drink alcohol in moderation, and never mix medications with alcohol.
- Take medications only when needed, and carefully follow any dosing instructions.
- Consult a doctor before mixing medications.
- Maintain a moderate weight. There’s a connection between obesity and fatty liver disease.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
- Have regular physicals during which your doctor performs liver function tests.
If you’re in the early stages of liver damage or disease, you can often heal over time with proper treatment and lifestyle changes.
However, the later stages aren’t reversible and sometimes require a liver transplant.
Liver failure can be a life threatening emergency that requires prompt medical intervention, regardless of whether it’s acute or chronic.
People diagnosed with liver disease are often monitored throughout their lives to ensure that their condition is not worsening or causing further liver damage. If you have concerns about liver health or liver failure, talk with a doctor.
Skin itching. Systemic diseases as the cause of skin itching – St. Petersburg State Budgetary Institution of Health “Dermatovenerologic Dispensary No. 4”
Itching is one of the forms of the skin analyzer, close to other types of skin sensations, such as touch, pain. Some researchers regard itching not as an independent sensation, but as a modified sense of pain. In areas of the skin devoid of the epidermis, itching is absent. Reflex actions leading to a temporary reduction in the sensation of itching include scratching, stroking, rubbing, pressure, pinching, kneading, and warming. Severe itching is relieved only by severe self-damage of the skin, resulting in the sensation of itching being replaced by a feeling of pain.
Due to the subjectivity of pruritus, the difficulty of its precise definition, the mechanism of pruritus is largely unclear. Itching is the second most common reason for a patient to visit a dermatologist.
The causes of itching are extremely varied.
Firstly, it acts as a subjective symptom of many skin diseases (fungal infection, urticaria, atopic dermatitis, eczema, lichen planus, scabies, etc.) Itching is a signal of danger, an undesirable effect on the body as a protective reaction to bites of blood-sucking insects and various skin impurities.
Secondly, itching can occur as an independent disease.
Thirdly, itching can be a symptom of various diseases of internal organs, including latent ones (diabetes mellitus, myxedema, iron deficiency anemia, psychoneurosis, liver disease, leukemia, malignant neoplasms, chronic renal failure, helminthiasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, progressive paralysis , multiple sclerosis, stroke, gout). In some diseases, itching has a certain prognostic and diagnostic significance. In chronic cholestasis, which accompanies many liver diseases (cirrhosis, extrahepatic obstruction of the bile ducts, hepatitis of various etiologies), itching is one of the most painful and most constant symptoms for the patient. The development of intrahepatic cholestasis and therefore itching is promoted by drugs: phenothiazines, erythromycin, anabolic steroids, testosterone, oral contraceptives, progesterone. Aspirin, quinidine, B vitamins and nicotinamide can cause itching without any skin rash. With primary biliary cirrhosis, itching is observed in 100% and in 50% of patients it is a reason to see a doctor. The disappearance of itching in liver diseases in some cases is a poor prognostic sign indicating liver failure. The cause of itching in liver diseases is considered to be an increase in the level of bile salts in plasma. Itching can occur with cholestasis of pregnant women in the later stages and completely disappear after childbirth.
Separate forms of generalized pruritus include senile pruritus, altitude and caisson pruritus. Senile pruritus is more often observed in men aged 60-70 years. It is painful, worse at night. On the skin, as a rule, there are no scratches, “polishing” and thinning of the free edge of the nail plates are observed. The causes of senile itching are varied (atherosclerosis, decreased activity and atrophy of the intestinal glands, prostatic hypertrophy, degenerative changes in peripheral nerve endings, atrophic processes in the epidermis, sebaceous, sweat glands, dermis, xerosis).
Altitude pruritus is observed in some people when climbing to an altitude of 8000-10000 m or more and is one of the symptoms of altitude sickness. Itching that occurs when immersed in water is a manifestation of decompression sickness (caisson itch).
Question to the doctor: what symptoms can tell about diseases of the liver
Doctors of antiquity called the liver the main organ for a person.
Galen considered it to be a sort of center of the organism’s universe. The definitions of temperament types proposed by Hippocrates (“ratio of parts”) – melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic – are directly related to the bile that the liver produces. And this terminology is still used today.
In Chinese medicine, acupuncture for almost all chronic diseases is used to influence the liver meridian.
Modern hepatologists know how much the liver affects the state of many organs and systems, as well as thinking, memory, mood, vision, skin color.
The liver is our largest parenchymal organ, it occupies almost the entire upper floor of the abdominal cavity on the right. This is a huge biochemical plant. In fact, all proteins that circulate in the body are synthesized here. In addition, the liver is a hematopoietic organ and a thermoregulator, it provides detoxification of the body, actively participates in various areas of its life. So you can not live without a liver.
Is it possible to replace its function, as happens, for example, in kidney diseases, when, thanks to hemodialysis, the patient can live for years? Artificial liver systems for severe liver failure allow you to try to “pull” a person out of a dangerous situation for a while. But with a neglected disease, it is still impossible to live on artificial support for a long time. Therefore, if the disease is not amenable to radical treatment, the question of transplantation arises.
What can be done to prevent liver diseases or to diagnose them in time? What symptoms should alert? What signals of the body should be treated with particular attention? Which doctor should I contact? What to do in the first place: what examinations to pass, what tests to pass?
About this – Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the Department of Surgical Methods of Treatment and Antitumor Drug Therapy of the N.N. A.V. Vishnevsky Alexey Vladimirovich Zhao.
Yellow coloration of the sclera, the appearance of yellowness of the skin, dark urine (“beer color”), discolored (white) stools are evidence that there is a malfunction with the outflow of bile that our liver produces. Most often we are talking about obstructive jaundice, when stones block the bile ducts and the outflow of bile into the duodenum is disturbed. When this happens, you need to act quickly. Make an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity, take blood tests (general, biochemical – bilirubin, ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, urea, creatinine, albumin, cholinesterase) and – run to the surgeon. (More about obstructive jaundice and how it is treated at the A.V. Vishnevsky National Medical Research Center for Surgery: https://www.vishnevskogo.ru/news/vopros-vrachu-kak-lechat-mekhanicheskuyu-zheltukhu).
What to do if there are no signs of cholelithiasis and tumors (they can also prevent the outflow of bile) and the surgeon said: “We have nothing”?
The next stage is a gastroenterologist-hepatologist. He will assess the situation for jaundice of another origin – parenchymal, which may be based on viral hepatitis.
If the gastroenterologist-hepatologist does not find anything, but there is jaundice, then what to do next? Contact an infectious disease specialist, because it may be infectious hepatitis.
In practice, unfortunately, the sequence is most often reversed. Jaundice begins, a person calls an ambulance, he is hospitalized with suspected infectious hepatitis. He can spend several days in the infectious diseases hospital until it turns out that there is no infection. But I repeat: jaundice is an urgent matter, the diagnosis must be made quickly, and it is necessary to start with a surgeon in order to exclude “mechanics”.
Where does a person usually go when they get itchy skin? To the dermatologist. This is correct, but we must keep in mind that the answer may not lie in the field of dermatology at all. Very often the reason is the accumulation of bile acids under the skin (they irritate the receptors, and skin itching begins). And bile acids accumulate precisely when the liver does not function well. These may be tumors that cause a violation of the mechanical passage of bile into the intestine. These can be diffuse liver diseases – primary sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis. Or other diseases in which there are symptoms of cholestasis (impaired outflow of bile) – for example, drug-induced hepatitis. It provokes the use of medications (especially uncontrolled).
In any case, if you start taking a medicine and the result is jaundice or itching, think that drug-induced hepatitis may be the cause. Where do you need to go? To the gastroenterologist-hepatologist.
Changes in the skin
When the liver is not in order, some hormones are poorly utilized, and small subcutaneous vessels begin to dilate. Telangiectasias appear – spider veins (they are also described as “spiders” – “spiders”). Their presence should lead you to the idea that something needs to be addressed to a gastroenterologist-hepatologist.
Another symptom of liver problems can be xanthelasma – yellowish plaques on the eyelids associated with the deposition of cholesterol under the skin.
Coat of tongue, bitterness in the mouth
They say that the tongue is the mirror of the stomach. If the tongue is coated, white or yellowish, if you also constantly feel bitterness in your mouth, you need to be examined. The reason here may be the reflux of bile from the duodenum into the stomach, and from there into the esophagus, associated both with various liver diseases (for example, fatty hepatosis), and with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the development of neoplasms.
Make an ultrasound, take blood tests (general, biochemical – bilirubin, ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, urea, creatinine, albumin, cholinosterase) and – contact a gastroenterologist-hepatologist.
One of the signs of liver disease is the smell of baked apples from the mouth. This is a specific smell of products of nitrogen metabolism – it arises from the fact that the liver does not provide normal detoxification. Previously, doctors, having discovered such a symptom in a patient, could say without any computed tomography: you have something with the liver, let’s urgently be examined.
By the way, any bad breath indicates that there is a problem – either in the gastrointestinal tract, or in the oral cavity (teeth), or in the tonsils. You need to go to the doctor and find out what exactly is the matter. It is very important.
Red palms (palmar erythema) may be one of the manifestations of liver disease. Consult with a gastroenterologist-hepatologist!
Bruising, increased bleeding
Bruising that appears out of the blue (a person touched something and immediately – a huge bruise), bleeding gums – what could be the reason for this?
99% of blood coagulation factors are synthesized in our liver. When it works poorly, blood clotting deteriorates and there is increased bleeding. If a hematologist excludes “his” pathology, the situation should be studied by a gastroenterologist-hepatologist – the problem may be in the liver.
Enlargement of the abdomen
One of the later signs of liver problems is an increase in the volume of the abdomen. A person drinks a lot of fluids, but little urine. The fact is that with certain diseases, ascites begins – the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. And this is an urgent reason to do an ultrasound scan and contact a gastroenterologist-hepatologist.
Deterioration of memory, attention, vision, sleep disturbances, changes in mood attention, sleep inversions (you want to sleep during the day, but you don’t want to sleep in the evening), decreased visual acuity, hand tremors.
An inadequate mood is also a clinical manifestation of liver dysfunction. It can be a state close to euphoria, when a person laughs for no reason and it is not clear what amuses him so much. Or, on the contrary, the mood is constantly bad, up to depression.
When, for one reason or another, the detoxification function of the liver is disturbed, ammonia accumulates in the blood, which has a toxic effect on brain cells. Don’t blame everything on stress, suggest a mental disorder, or explain (in the case of an elderly person) dementia. Rule out liver disease first.
Against the background of past and chronic liver diseases, unfortunately, malignant tumors often develop. Early diagnosis of these tumors is in the hands of the patient. He should say to himself: nothing bothers me, but I know that I have chronic hepatitis. This means that once every six months – an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and an analysis for alpha-fetoprotein are required – this enzyme can increase in 40-50% of cases if primary liver cancer occurs.
Listen to yourself!
If you don’t have any of the above symptoms, great. Be physically active, do not abuse alcohol, fatty and spicy foods. But in no case do not neglect regular medical examinations (screening, as they say now), because diseases can be asymptomatic. Take special responsibility for your health if you are over 40, as the incidence of cancer is increasing in this age group.
And don’t forget to listen to your body! If you don’t like something, don’t waste time: do an ultrasound scan, take a blood test and contact a specialist (start with a surgeon). No need to panic and immediately think about the rarest and most severe diseases.