The liver of the human body is a core part of the body. Without this, it your body cannot filter your blood. It also produces hormones, stores energy, and makes compounds that allow your gut to digest food. And those are just a few of its many essential duties of the liver.
Well, you need to put into consideration your liver’s outsize role in keeping you hale and healthy, you’d think even small problems with it would stand out. Bruce Bacon, who is a professor of internal medicine and chair of gastroenterology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine said this
“Hepatitis C used to be called ‘the silent epidemic’ because many people who had [that liver disease] weren’t aware of it,” Bacon explains. By the time you’re showing signs or symptoms of liver problems—whether due to hepatitis, fatty liver disease, or something else—chances are good cirrhosis has already set in, he says. (Feel better starting today with Rodale’s The Thyroid Cure, a new book that’s helped thousands of people finally solve the mystery of what’s ailing them.)
At this point, let us consider some few points that will make you know that your liver is having issues. If you experience any of these, get yourself to a doctor quickly.
Arthritis-like joint pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite are all interrelated symptoms of liver disease—particularly autoimmune hepatitis, Wakim-Fleming explains. Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks the cells and tissues of your liver, and it’s more common in women than men, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
When your body breaks down old blood cells, one of the by-products created is a yellowish compound called “bilirubin.” While a healthy liver has no problem disposing of bilirubin, a diseased liver allows bilirubin to build up in your blood, which can turn your skin and eyes yellow, Wakim-Fleming explains. (Here are 10 things the color of your eyes can say about you.) This is jaundice. “Dark urine and light feces are also signs of jaundice,” she adds.
A diseased liver can allow too much copper to build up in your blood and brain, Wakim-Fleming says. “This can lead to Alzheimer’s-like confusion,” she says. She adds that this sort of confusion is associated with advanced-stage liver disease, meaning it’s unlikely to be the first (or only) symptom you experience if your liver is in trouble.
An oversize belly or swollen ankles coupled with skinny, weak arms and legs could result from fluid imbalances caused by a diseased liver, Wakim-Fleming says. This muscle wasting can also show up above your cheeks and around your temples, she says. But again, these are late-stage liver disease symptoms—and not something you’re likely to notice one day out of the blue.