Liver disease cannot be taken as damage caused to the Liver alone, but it is combination of various disorders that disrupts and damage. Before looking into the causative factors that damages the liver, let us see about the symptoms of liver disease.
It starts with vomiting, nausea and pain on the right upper region of the abdomen. The skin of the affected person turns yellow in color due to increase of bilirubin in the blood. There will be unknown weight loss, fatigue and weakness.
Itching due to deposits of bile salts on the skin, enlarged breasts in men due to excess of sex hormones and impotence due to erectile dysfunction can occur due to prolonged liver damage.
Because of enormous pressure on the liver due to infection, normal blood flow gets affected causing swelling and clotting of blood.
All the above symptoms are generic and do not pertain to liver damage due to specific cause.
Certain medical conditions can cause liver damage and infection. Problems in gallbladder, Gilbert’s disease, liver cirrhosis, jaundice, fibrosis, hepatitis infection, cancer, alcohol consumption, acetaminophen toxicity, cysts and fatty liver disease can affect the liver seriously and cause damage.
Symptoms in Detail:
Acetaminophen Toxicity :
Some of the prominent signs of this disorder are passing of dark urine, skin turning yellowish, and itchiness on the skin. The right side of the abdomen would become warm and tender to touch. Some people may get fever.
Liver Disease due to Consumption of Alcohol :
Liver cirrhosis is one of the major causes of death in several countries. This would take place only if the person consumes excess of alcohol for prolonged years. There would be abdomen pain, confusion of thought, fatigue, weakness, jaundice, nausea, vomiting and dryness of mouth. After some years, there can be additional signs like hallucination, confusion, agitation, difficulty in concentration and short term memory loss.
Liver Cancer :
Enlarged liver, swelling of abdomen, weight loss, yellowish skin, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite are some of the signs of liver cancer.
It is a condition in which the liver is filled with fluid and swelling of liver and enlarged abdomen is the main symptom.
Fatty liver Disease :
During initial phase, there may not be any symptoms. In the middle stage, liver inflammation occurs and during terminal stage it may cause total liver damage.
In the final phase, it may cause excess bleeding from the veins of intestine, swelling of liver, confusion, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, severe itching, weakness, fatigue, loss of weight and yellow skin.
Liver Fibrosis :
This disorder occurs due to alcohol consumption and is the final stage of liver cirrhosis. Several fibroids are formed inside liver and liver scarring occurs that would abrupt normal blood flow causing total liver damage.
Some of the common symptoms of this disease are fatigue, bleeding due to enlarged veins, excess of swelling due to ascites, lack of appetite, severe pain in the abdomen.
Hepatitis is a condition of inflammation of liver. Signs of Hepatitis infection are pain in the abdomen, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, and enlarged liver, and headache, loss of appetite, jaundice, malaise and vomiting.
Primary Scelorosing Cholangitis :
This happens when the bile duct of the liver gets inflamed due to excess of growth of fibers inside. Important signs of this disease are fatigue, chills with fever, and signs of cirrhosis, mal-absorption, intense itching and severe jaundice condition.
Jaundice is actually not a disease, but it is an indication of liver inflammation. The skin becomes yellowish with yellow urine due to increased amount of bilirubin in blood. Getting jaundice is a potential sign of liver problem that needs immediate treatment.
Your doctor will order for blood test for measuring the quantity of bilirubin in blood. He may do CT scan of the liver, X-ray of internal organs and sometimes ERCP test for identifying the extent of liver damage.
Liver failure occurs due to Hepatitis B or C, alcohol consumption, cirrhosis and malnutrition. It can also occur due to increase in Tylenol intake, prolonged use of certain medications and severe indigestion.
You can prevent getting liver disease or infection by following good diet practice and avoiding alcohol. You need to be vaccinated for Hepatitis B and C. Take balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Wash your hands thoroughly before taking food and after using toilet. Avoid smoking and drinking. Don’t share any toiletry items with others. Always use sterilized needles while taking injections.
Treatment varies with respect to the underlying medical causes.