Liver Danger Signals
If detected and treated early on, it is not only possible to slow the advance of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, but it becomes possible to live a normal daily life, as well. That is why it pays to see a doctor specializing in liver ailments at the first sign of any problems.
According to Dr. Hiroyuki Kuroda, a liver specialist in Tokyo, most people never realize that their symptoms are warning signs of liver disease.
“Some patients can feel quite healthy, with no feeling of listlessness, despite having severely diminished liver function. Some people never even notice anything wrong despite having cirrhosis of the liver,” he said.
Most people are already aware that when the liver is failing, the palms of the hands and the whites of the eyes take on a yellowish tinge known as jaundice. However, when your liver is in bad shape, other very interesting symptoms begins to appear.
1. Lack of appetite, nausea, bloated stomach and excessive flatulence. When the liver is not functioning properly the production of bile, which digests fats, decreases. Fats cannot be digested and absorbed by the body and remain stagnant in the stomach and intestines, causing these symptoms.
2. Listlessness and fatigue. When the liver becomes almost completely unable to function, many substances in the body cannot be metabolized. When this occurs, vitamins and other nutrients cannot be converted to energy and used by the body.
3. Incessant itching. When liver function diminishes, bile cannot be excreted by the body. The bile then enters the blood, causing bile acid to accumulate in the skin, stimulating the nerves that trigger itching.
4. Redness of the palms and tip of the nose, red splotches on the body and enlarged breasts in men. When the liver becomes unable to metabolize the female hormone estrogen, it gradually begins to accumulate in the body. This causes capillary blood vessels to swell, turning the palms and tips of noses red, and creating splotches on the body. The breasts enlarge via the same mechanism.
5. Tendency to bleed. A diseased liver becomes unable to produce the substances that help coagulate blood.
6. Whitish fingernails and lines on the nails. It is believed that these symptoms occur because enlarged blood vessels in the lungs caused by a diseased liver’s inability to metabolize estrogen results in a decrease in oxygen taken in via the lungs.
7. Memory lapses and shaky hands. When ammonia and certain amino acids cannot be eliminated by the liver, the excess ammonia reaches the brain through the blood and causes brain damage.
Translated by Roy Mashima
(The information provided should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Consult your physician before attempting any new program. Readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of developing serious medical conditions.)