The liver is not just any other organ in your body, rather it is a superhero without a cape. Not only does it play an important role in the metabolism of your body but also makes proteins, detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. These are just a few things from the 500 functions that your liver handles in your body, after all, it’s the largest organ.
But what happens if your superhero isn’t working the way it should? You need to consider and look for signs. While the first signs you would notice are yellow eyes, abdominal pain, swelling, and nausea. But there can be adverse side to the improper functioning you weren’t able to figure out. This blog here covers the 7 warning signs your liver is unhealthy and also the ways you can keep it healthy.
1. Itchy skin
One of the underlying causes of an unhealthy liver is itching. While we might take it lightly until it turns into a rash, this is a major sign which affects the whole body. This is caused when bile gets collected in the bloodstream which indicates liver damage.
When the bile duct gets blocked, the bile stops and starts flowing backward in the bloodstream. This is the reason why the skin suffers from itching.
2. Spider angiomas
Spider angiomas are swollen blood vessels that sit beneath the covers of our skin. These capillaries often have a reddish extension which looks like a spider’s web on the skin. It is caused when the level of estrogen is higher in the body which leads to an unhealthy liver. Besides, Spider angiomas are common in people with alcohol-related liver diseases as compared to liver diseases not related to alcohol. You might notice these vessels appearing on legs and the face.
3. Bruising and bleeding
We all well aware of the fact that the liver with the help of Vitamin K produces proteins which clots blood. But if you notice blood or bruising easily after some injury, it indicated that your liver is suffering. This is because the liver is not able to produce enough proteins to clot the blood.
4. Blemishes and hyperpigmentation on face
In simple words, Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of skin when melanin is overproduced. Out of all the reasons for pigmentation, an unhealthy liver is also one of them. Due to the improper working of the liver, the level of estrogen increases in the body which then causes tyrosinase. It is a copper-containing enzyme which produces more melanin and leads to hyperpigmentation and blemishes.
5. Bad breath
Bad breath is a major sign that point outs that your body, in general, is not healthy. It reflects problems like pneumonia, bronchitis, gum disease, sinusitis, and liver damage.
Bad breathe also known as foetor hepaticus is a warning sign of liver failure. It is a sweet, bad odor caused by dimethyl sulfide, which becomes a part of blood if your liver is damaged.
6. Red palms
Red palms are often a warm feeling in the hands whose one reason can be dilating in the blood vessels due to hormonal changes. If your liver is not working properly, you will have red palms also known as palmar erythema. It will make your palms turn red, followed by burning itchiness.
7. Lack of concentration
If you are feeling more lethargic than you usually feel, then it might be indicating towards the unhealthy liver. One of the functions of this organ is to remove toxins and energize the body. But if your liver is suffering from a disease, the toxins instead of being removed enter the brain. Which is the reason why you might not be able to think clearly or remember information.
Suggested Read: Guidelines for Live Donor Liver Transplantation
Ways to keep your liver healthy
1. Eat a balanced diet
The next most important thing is to take care of what you eat. Doctors suggest that you have a balanced diet as almost every cell in the body is capable of metabolizing glucose. But that’s not the case with fructose as only the liver cells can handle it. However, if we constantly intake fructose, our liver is bound to get damaged.
It is advised to try natural sources of sugar and lessen the intake of high-fructose which is found in soda, bread, baked goods, sweetened yogurt, and sweets.
2. Exercise regularly and maintain weight
Exercises like aerobics and weight lifting can do wonders for your body. Regular exercising makes the body burn triglycerides which fuels up the body for normal functioning. It also reduces liver fat and helps in maintaining body weight.
3. Avoid toxins
By now it would be clear that the primary function of the liver is to fight toxins. But you can do a bit from your end to keep your liver healthy. Avoid smoking, coming in direct contact with additives, insecticides, chemicals and cleaning and aerosol products.
4. Reduce alcohol usage
Drinking alcohol in excessive amounts can injure your liver cells. Which is why it is recommended by doctors to limit down the amount so that the liver doesn’t face any damage like inflammation or swelling.
5. Avoid illicit drugs
Another way to take care of your liver is by avoiding the consumption of illicit drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine, to name a few.
6. Practice good hygiene
If you are feeling the signs of an unhealthy liver, it is advised to take utmost care of your day to day hygiene. Not only is it safe to keep yourself clean but also not sharing your personal items.
7. Practice safe sex
It is always advised in all the cases to practice safe sex. Hepatitis virus is generally put in five categories namely A, B, C, D and E. While hepatitis B and c can be caused by unsafe sex or with multiple partners. A, B, C can also lead to serious liver damage.
8. Manage your medication
The medicines that you consume are broken down in the liver once they are digested by your digestive system. And hence you should take good care when it comes to the routine of having medicines.
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