Some of the Symptoms of Liver Failure
Liver failure is a big deal because this organ is essential for the functioning of the human body. Today’s article will discuss some of the reasons why it may stop working as it should. Hopefully, it’ll help you evaluate the health of your own liver.
The liver functions
This is one of the most important body organs and it’s just below the diaphragm, on the right side of the body. It’s also one of the largest and weighs between 2 and 3.5 pounds. The liver has three functions:
- To filter the blood by removing toxins from chemical substances that are hard for the body to metabolize — drugs and alcohol, among others. This means the liver filters them from the blood and transforms them into others the body can either use or eliminate.
- Bile plays an important role in digestion, as it’s responsible for breaking down fats in the small intestine in order for the body to absorb them. It also transports the substances the body will expel.
- It participates in the synthesis and storage of amino acids and proteins — very necessary for the body. In addition, it stores sugars in the form of glycogen, which will transform into glucose and serve as blood fuel. It also stores fats, as well as some vitamins and minerals.
This occurs when, as per the name, the liver fails to work as it should. The symptoms may manifest suddenly, or may slowly progress and worsen over time.
Many diseases affect the liver and lead to failure, some of the most important are:
- Hepatitis, such as the autoimmune kind and A, B, C, D, and E viruses
- Alcohol abuse
- Liver cirrhosis
- Liver abscess due to bacterial infection
- Also, liver cancer or metastases from other types such as colon cancer
- Thrombosis of the portal vein in charge of supplying blood to the organ
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What happens when the liver doesn’t work?
Many signs can indicate when the liver stops working as it should, the most notable are:
- Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes produced when bilirubin accumulates. The liver degrades this substance when it works properly. A person may also be itchy because the bilirubin accumulates in the epidermis when the body fails to eliminate it.
- Tiredness happens when the glycogen, vitamins, and minerals necessary for energy supply are no longer being stored.
- Heavy digestion and bloating after meals, including nausea, and diarrhea. There may also be pain on the side of the abdomen where the liver is. There’s no bile secretion and thus, no digestion of fats and so the symptoms begin to appear.
- Pale-colored stools and dark urine.
- Edema in legs, ankles, and abdomen — swelling.
Diagnosis and prevention of liver failure
A physician should always evaluate the situation and perform the necessary tests to diagnose liver failure. Tests may include a blood test, imaging, or biopsy.
Some of the measures to take in order to prevent it are:
- An adequate, healthy, and balanced diet with just enough fat and salt content
- Be moderate in your consumption of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other chemical substances
- Vaccinate against hepatitis
The treatment of liver failure will depend on its cause. Consult a doctor as soon as possible in the event of any alarming symptoms so they can diagnose and prescribe treatment as soon as possible.
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In a nutshell
The liver is an essential organ for the body and you must keep it in good shape. Thus, it’s important to maintain healthy habits and, of course, consult a doctor if you have any symptoms of liver failure.