Why is the liver important?
Our bodies are equipped with all the necessary organs with their respective functions to keep it always healthy. One of the most important organs is the liver. Most of us may not realize how vital it is to our body. In fact, our liver is probably one of the most underappreciated organ of all. That’s why one of the most common health problem that has affected millions of people worldwide is liver damage.
Understanding the anatomy of our liver
Our liver is important because it is responsible for the breakdown of food and the elimination of toxic substances from our body. In other words, our liver keeps our body clean. The shape and size of our liver are roughly the same as a football and is seated underneath the rib cage at the right side of our abdomen.
When our liver becomes damaged, our bodies cannot process and absorb nutrients that we get from our food properly. Moreover, our injuries will never heal as our blood will not clot. Most importantly, without the liver functioning normally our bodies will continue storing toxins which will eventually lead to organ failure.
Since our liver plays a heavy role in keeping our bodies clean, it is necessary to take care of it. If we continue to damage our liver, we become susceptible to various liver diseases including cirrhosis, hepatitis and eventually cancer.
What signs indicate that our liver is damaged?
Not surprisingly, what leads to liver damage comes from the food we eat and the lifestyle we keep. Unhealthy and processed foods do not contain vital nutrients for the body and often cannot be broken down. Excessive alcohol drinking is also another cause of liver damage.
As our liver slowly starts become impaired, we will also experience certain symptoms that indicate it. So, below are ten signs that tell you that your liver is in trouble:
- You easily bruise or bleed when injured
If you’ve never experienced bruising or bleeding easily before when you get injured, it could be a sign of liver damage. It is said when our liver becomes damaged, we no longer produce enough proteins for blood clotting after getting injured.
- You constantly have bad breath
Having a foul breath can mean other health problems like gum problems or sinusitis. However, it can also indicate a telltale symptom of liver damage or failure. When our liver is affected by cirrhosis, our mouth gives out high amounts of dimethyl sulphide which is the rancid and sour smell from our breath.
- Your eyes and skin appears yellowish (Jaundice)
When the eyes and skin starts to show a yellowish color, it is a clear sign of a liver problem. Our liver helps in breaking down a yellow substance known as bilirubin and is eliminated from the body. However, when the liver is damaged, the excess production of bilirubin begins to accumulate in the body which causes the eyes and skin to appear yellow.
- You experience frequent abdominal pains
Abdominal pains can also indicate a different health problem like indigestion. However, it is a good idea as well to get checked for liver problems because abdominal pains is also a sign of liver damage. What usually follows abdominal pains are bouts of nausea, dizziness, and even diarrhea. However, take note where the pain is taking place around your abdomen when getting yourself checked for liver damage.
- You feel sluggish and fatigued all the time
When there is something wrong with your liver, you constantly feel lethargic and weak. It is because our liver also breaks down the nutrients from food and convert it to energy. When it is damaged, it is unable to digest and distribute the energy to our other organs leaving us feeling fatigued.
- You often experience confusion and find it hard to concentrate
The sluggish feeling you get at work is not just a minor thing. It could also be a sign of a liver problem. Just like when you’re feeling tired all the time, liver problems also indicate difficulty in concentration and can even manifest other problems like confusion and forgetfulness.
- Your skin feels itchy all the time
Having itchy skin can mean many things. However, when it constantly occurs, it is a sign that you have to take seriously. When our liver is not working properly, our bodies produce bile. When there is bile present in the body, it starts building up underneath the skin and cause itching.
- Your stomach constantly feel bloated
Bloating can indicate indigestion problems. However, liver damage can also cause constant bloating particularly in the abdomen area. Doctors suggest that when there are high amounts of pressure surrounding the liver, fluid starts to accumulate making us feel bloated all the time.
- You start losing appetite for food
Loss of appetite can also suggest other health problems. However, liver problems can also lead to issues with our gut which makes it hard for us to feel hungry. Eventually, liver issues can also lead to significant weight loss.
- Your skin starts having spider-like blemishes
Blemishes on the skin that are spider-like are also something to worry about. It is because estrogen levels increase when our liver is not working properly. When this happens, an enzyme that contains copper called tyrosinase starts producing more melanin which causes the unsightly pigmentation on our skin.
How to prevent further liver damage?
To keep the liver healthy and prevent problems, there are preventive measures to make sure your liver is always taken care of. This includes:
– Following a healthy diet and eating habits
– Get vaccinated
– Try to fit in regular exercise to your schedule
– Make sure to eat clean food and drinking water
– Visit the doctor and get all the advice you need if you suspect you have liver problems
– Avoid taking too much medication as it can also eventually damage the liver
Keeping yourself healthy is mostly a choice you have to make to live longer and have a quality life. While adopting a healthier lifestyle, always have your doctors updated on your health status so they can give you the best recommendations as well.
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