The problem is that the liver is not only a very “hard-working”, but also a “patient” organ, and can “remain silent” for a long time about its dysfunctions, without showing symptoms and signs of illness.
Occassional discomfort, pain and heaviness in the right hypochondrium often mean problems with the gallbladder and pancreas.
What should attention be paid to in order to prevent the development of liver dysfunctions and stop its destruction/
General weakness, high fatigue, exhaustion/
This effect is associated primarily with increased intoxication, caused by microorganisms and viruses metabolic products, foreign toxins. At the same time, the liver own barrier function weakens.
Changes in the appearance of cutaneous coverings.
Pallor of the skin can be observed in chronic, long-lasting liver pathologies, for example, in cirrhosis or hepatitis. Often, liver diseases can provoke irregularities in the pigmentation of cutaneous coverings – the skin gains gray or bronze tint. Chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis are also characterized by symmetrical reddening of the skin in the area of the palms and soles, which turn pale when pressed, but will soon take on a regular tint. In case of bile outflow disorders, plaques on the elbows, veins, knees, feet, breeches become a symptom.
Jaundice. The most specific symptom characteristic of certain liver diseases. This is the yellowing of mucous membranes, skin, and scleras due to excessive accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice develops due to liver disorders, which consist in the binding of bilirubin and its further elimination with bile. Jaundice is most often observed in hepatitis and cirrhosis.
They can manifest either as an unformed stool, or constipations, flatulence (abdominal distension), belching, and heaviness in the upper abdomen between the costal angles. The quality of stool changes. It gains oily consistency – steatorrhea, which is associated with impaired absorption and disintegration of fats.
Often, liver disease is accompanied by a rise in body temperature – fever. Fever is a protective reaction of the body to the disease factor. At elevated temperatures, immune reactions aimed at eradication of the infectious agent are more active. Fever up to 38°C is normal for the body affected by a disease, provided that it is well tolerated and lasts for up to five days. In this case, the use of antipyretics is not justified.
With hepatitis, cirrhosis, the body temperature usually does not rise above 38 °C, it remains at the level of 37-37.5 °C. It can be at normal level of 36.6 °C during the day, and rise only in the evening.
Due to the hormonal imbalance that accompanies chronic liver disease, hair loss in the armpit and pubic area is possible. Men in this case may develop an increase in the mammary glands – gynecomastia.
Varicose veins in the abdomen/
A prognostically adverse symptom of chronic hepatitis and, as a consequence, cirrhosis or self-induced cirrhosis is an increase in the skin veins in the abdomen. It is associated with impaired venous outflow along the portal vein through the liver. Therefore, blood from the abdominal organs flows through the veins of the anterior abdominal wall, which are enalrged as a result. The venous network showing on the abdomen was called the “jellyfish head” for its resemblance to the original one.
Sometimes you can hear the expression “hepatic odor.” It has a sweetish aroma, similar to the smell of fresh liver or overripe fruit. It feels when a patient with a liver dysfunction breathes. This smell is caused by a disturbance of the metabolism of amino acids and aromatic compounds.
All the above symptoms give an expressive, but not a complete picture of the disease. One of informative modern methods of the liver and biliary tract examination is ultrasound. Among laboratory methods, blood chemistry panel is informative.
If you suspect a liver disease, be sure to consult a doctor! He will refer you to the necessary examinations, prescribe the treatment suitable specifically for you to restore the health of your liver.