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7 Early Warnings of Liver Damage to Never Ignore

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by Power of Positivity

A properly functioning liver is vital to our health. Liver disease rates are steadily increasing over the years. According to National statistics in the UK, liver diseases have been ranked as the fifth most common cause of death.

Liver diseases are recognized as the second leading cause of mortality amongst all digestive diseases in the US.

The primary functions of the liver are:

  • Cleanses blood by metabolizing alcohol, drugs (prescription and recreational); and neutralizing poisonous substances.
  • Manufactures essential body proteins, including those that prevent blood-clotting, open pathways for nutrient delivery to the blood, and proteins that ward off infection.
  • Produces cholesterol; converting it into essential substances used by the body.
  • Regulates energy supply by manufacturing, storing and delivering glucose to the body and brain.
  • Regulates the balance of hormones, including those of the adrenal and thyroid glands.

The potential causes of liver damage are numerous and include heredity (i.e., genetic predisposition), long-term liver diseases (ex: cirrhosis), and prolonged exposure to toxic substances.

It is important to understand potential signs of liver damage in order to preserve our health and well-being.

Here are 7 possible signs of Liver Damage

1. Fatigue

Various research has concluded that chronic fatigue and exhaustion are the most common symptoms of liver damage. Medical professionals speculate that liver-related fatigue and exhaustion is a byproduct of neurochemical changes in the brain and hormonal imbalances.

Exacerbating the feelings of fatigue and exhaustion are elevated levels of toxic byproducts in the blood, which an impaired liver cannot properly eliminate.

2. Dry or irritated skin

Irritated and itchy skin that seems to persist is another potential indication of liver damage. To be healthy, our skin requires moisture via transmission of fluids within the body. When this fluid is not adequately supplied, it is not uncommon for the skin to take on a different appearance; this includes reddening of the hands or feet, yellowing of the mucous membranes (i.e., jaundice), or inexplicable spotting (dark or light) in certain areas.

3. Abdominal pain

If the liver is damaged, it is common to feel pain around the abdominal area. Patients often describe this pain as “stabbing” or “throbbing” – a symptom often relieved only through proper treatment of the underlying issue.

Long-term use of some types of over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription (Rx) medications can result in long-term liver damage. Those experiencing persistent abdominal pain of the stabbing or throbbing variety – and have used OTC or Rx medications for a substantial period – should visit a physician for evaluation.

4. Nausea or vomiting

As mentioned prior, one of the liver’s primary functions is to detoxify and help expel any toxic substances from the body. When the liver’s detoxification function is impaired, a number of problems can surface, including sudden changes in normal digestion and metabolism.

The liver is a large organ within the digestive system; therefore, any liver-related condition can manifest into digestive problems. Nausea and vomiting frequently occur due to the accumulation of toxins that the liver cannot eradicate.

5. Bruising

Among the liver’s most important roles is to assist in the production of necessary protein enzymes. One classification of protein enzymes helps to prevent blood clots. When this blood-clotting mechanism is impaired, changes to the skin’s appearance are common.

Relatedly, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “When the liver slows the production of or stops producing the proteins needed for blood clotting, a person will bruise or bleed easily.”

6. Abdominal swelling

According to the Mayo Clinic, liver damage disrupts the normal flow of blood to the organ, which increases pressure in the surrounding veins. These “surrounding veins” include those responsible for transporting blood from the spleen and intestines to the liver. Disruption of this process causes blood pressure levels to spike – a condition known as portal hypertension.

Portal hypertension causes the accumulation of fluid around the abdomen; a condition called ascites. Ascites may also arise from the liver’s inability to make other blood proteins.

7. Jaundice

Liver problems can cause discoloration of the eyes and skin. This discoloration happens because of the buildup of a bile pigment called bilirubin, which cannot be properly be disposed of.

Yellowish hueing of the skin or eyes is called jaundice. Aside from altering the eye’s appearance, jaundice can cause other symptoms including darkening of the urine, full-body itching, and cognitive impairment.


The great news is that the liver is a highly adaptive and resilient organ when treated, and is often capable of healing itself. Under the guidance of a medical professional, most liver-related illnesses receive a positive prognosis.

It is wise to consult with a medical professional if any of these symptoms persist. As with most medical conditions, the earlier that the underlying cause is determined, the more streamlined and efficient any treatment will be.

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    Total 5 comments
    • The Watcher


    • wheeties

      my brother drank 10 “energy” drinks a day,plus lots of ibeproufen because the drinks were causing joint pain–killed his liver at the age of 57-on dialyisis now–very insane…

      • Sun Rabbit

        Those energy drinks are downright dangerous. I never tried one until about 4 years ago I got a free sample at a supermarket I go to, and I thought I was gonna DIE. My heart rate was at 130 for about 8 hours. I couldn’t stop shaking, and couldn’t fall asleep even after the symptoms subsided. I don’t take any drugs or prescriptions, just vitamins. I myself found my own reaction to the stuff disproportionate because I drink 3-4 cups of coffee daily, and I smoke cigarettes, which are also a stimulant. So I did some research on Red Bull and found out that authorities in Denmark (the country next door, literally) had banned it because of people having similar reactions which prompted them to do an analysis which found that it contained “traces of” cocaine! I’d bet any money that it was more than just “traces” of cocaine but more like “teaspoons.”
        Basically, the reaction I had from this is something I wouldn’t get even from 10 cups of coffee. I also found out that some people have a bad reaction to some of the ingredients, taurine, if I remember correctly. So, never again. Not Red Bull or anything of a similar type.
        Ibuprofen is very dangerous when used long term. My great-aunt died of intestinal bleeding after having used it for arthritis for years. Acetaminophen is even more dangerous. ALL drugs have side effects. Aspirin is pretty safe for joint pain but it doesn’t help much, and long term use actually increases arthritis. When I was doing I lot of driving and having neck pain from that I would occasionally take an Arcoxia once a week and that worked fine for me.

      • Jack Shlitz

        That’s insane. I like my sleep too much to want to be up all 🌃and that would keep me perpetually awake.

    • Jack Shlitz

      Only God knows what’s in those energy drinks and TAURINE, for me, is like like the elixir that Dr Jekyll takes. No wonder it means ‘bull’. I almost got arrested after losing my temper at the bank. Banks suck ass to begin with and, unwittingly, I was jacked up on friggin TAURINE. Seriously, there should be a warning label. I don’t lose my temper out and that crap made me feel like the Hulk… ferocious and unpredictable.




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