This is why it’s so important to stay in tune with its wellness, so let’s take a moment to learn about the 15 telling signs of a damaged liver…. These symptoms are actually a condition called liver encephalopathy, which occurs because the liver is unable to “filter blood normally and remove harmful substances from the bloodstream,” says Serious liver damage can also lead to fluid retention in the legs, ankles, and feet. It is also trying to excrete as many toxins as it can through the skin, which is a duty the liver would normally perform, but is unable to do effectively due to the damage. 8 Causes of Liver Disease and Liver Failure, How to Survive the Holidays with a Chronic Illness, Common Reasons for a High Liver Enzyme Count, Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options of ALS, Ways Seniors Can Ease the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Senior Exercises That Can Help Improve Memory, Healthy Foods Your Liver Will Thank You For, Challenges of Living with Budd Chiari Syndrome. Dark urine can be caused by many different factors, and it isn’t something to be alarmed about if it does not occur on a continuous basis. It can be treated with diuretics and a reduced sodium diet, and in severe cases, the fluid can be drained through a needle inserted into the stomach. In such cases, doctors will administer nutrients intravenously to slowly bring the patient back to health. This pain may or may not be accompanied by swelling in the abdomen, or ascites. Symptoms of IBS include alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a frequent, sudden, and urgent need to pass bowel movements. As mentioned earlier, confusion and memory loss may also occur when there is damage to the liver. This occurs because impaired liver function inhibits the body’s ability to produce and circulate proteins, which in turn causes circulatory issues that are localized in the legs, feet, and ankles because gravity naturally draws fluid down to the lower parts of the body. As a result, there is an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. In fact, unexplained and persistent vomiting is considered to be one of the definitive clues that a patient may be suffering from liver problems. Chronic fatigue, muscle and mental weakness, memory loss, even confusion, and eventually coma are common when a damaged liver progresses to liver failure. As a result, excessive sweating tends to occur, which is the body’s way of trying to cool itself down. Loss of appetite 10. While ascites can occur in sudden onset or acute liver disease, it occurs much more frequently in chronic cases. 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Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat. Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool 7. Swelling in the legs and ankles 4. Many people mistake the root cause of the nausea or ignore it altogether, as it is usually not considered to be a serious medical problem. This fluid retention can also be caused or worsened by decreased kidney function, which often accompanies severe liver damage. Unfortunately, this means they will not be prompted to seek treatment, which can lead to more serious conditions, including fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. Researchers speculate that the root cause of liver disease-related chronic fatigue may be caused by changes in brain chemistry and hormone levels that result from impaired liver function. In particular, altered levels of corticotropins, serotonin, and noradrenaline may be at the root of depleted energy levels. While ascites can be caused by numerous medical conditions, cirrhosis of the liver is the single most common cause. When liver damage is left untreated, it will progress into liver disease. In non-severe cases, these issues can be treated with diuretics that trigger urination and the elimination of excess bodily fluids. Jaundice also causes dark-colored urine and light-colored stools, and the high bilirubin levels can also trigger difficult-to-relieve full-body itching. In extremely severe cases, jaundice can also cause a loss of brain function. I've Been Diagnosed with Budd Chiari Syndrome, Now What? Proneness to bruising may also be caused by a blood disorder, which people with liver damage or liver disease are more likely to develop. Nausea or vomiting 9. Significant changes in appetite that result in dramatic, rapid weight loss is one such symptom. In fact, improper use of medications can be part of the reason you’re experiencing abdominal pain symptoms. One of the characteristics of liver disease-related fluid retention is that the imprint of your fingers will remain for a few seconds if you press down on an affected area. These changes can result in unusually dark or unusually light patches of skin in localized areas. However, liver damage which has reached this point typically has a more grim prognosis, as the organ will be beyond repair and a transplant may be the patient’s only hope for recovery. Sometimes, swelling can also take place in the ankles, as accumulated fluid is drawn down into the body by the forces of gravity. This may actually make the patient appear pregnant. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if you notice any persistent changes in your health, no matter how minor they may seem, see your doctor to find out what the problem is. Bilirubin is a bodily fluid that is produced through the natural breakdown of bile, and is normally eliminated through bile and urine. 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