The St Louis University Liver Center estimates that close to 10% of the American population has been affected by a form of liver disease. According to the same report, liver related diseases rank 12th on the list of leading causes of death in the USA. Many other statistics from various developed countries also show a high prevalence of liver disease.
The liver is the largest organ inside the body, and so if it is not functioning well, it will affect the whole body. It is because of this fact that experts will advise you to watch out for some early signs that indicate that there is a problem with your liver because most diseases are treatable or manageable when identified early enough. Some of these warning signs may include the following.
A publication by the Mayo Clinic lists liver disease as one of the main reasons why some people have itchy skin. Although other ailments such as cancer, thyroid problems, and kidney failure can also result in an itchy skin, liver disease is in most instances the cause. The itching that comes as a consequence of the liver not working well will affect the entire body, but in many cases, there will not be any changes to the skin. However, some people will also have a patchy skin. Their skin will lose pigmentation hence leading to some white patches that experts tend to refer to as “liver spots”.
If the whites of your eyes and you skin start turning yellow, this should be a warning sign that your liver is not functioning normally. The National Library of Medicine in the USA says that this is a result of a buildup of a substance known as bilirubin. Turning yellow or Jaundice occurs because the damage in your liver prevents it from processing the bilirubin.
Darker Urine Color
If you get darker urine than usual on rare occasions, there is nothing to worry about because it is in most instances due to occasional dehydration. However, if it keeps happening daily or after every few days even when you drink enough fluids, this can be a sign that you have liver problems. Experts recommend that you should seek medical attention immediately because a dark urine is a sign that the disease is at a critical stage.
Loss of Appetite and Nausea
Quite many conditions can make you feel nauseous and lose your appetite, but liver disease is one of the most common ones. Nausea and loss of appetite are indications that there might be a problem with bile production. If the liver is malfunctioning, it may not produce enough bile which the body needs to break down fats for digestion. So, if you often get nausea, especially after a meal, it is definitely a warning sign.