Signs of liver trouble usually don’t appear until a liver problem has caused some damage or even compromised liver function in some way. Generally speaking, you probably won’t know you have a liver problem until the liver trouble symptoms listed below begin to appear – that is, unless you have liver function tests done as part of a physical exam.
Since many people never get an annual physical or liver function tests, it’s especially important to become familiar with signs of liver trouble so you can recognize, as soon as possible, that you may have a liver disease or disorder.
Perhaps the clearest sign of a liver disorder is pain in the liver area, which is usually considered to be the right side of your upper abdomen. These other symptoms may appear too, including the following.
- Unusual coughing without symptoms of a cold or flu.
- Unexplained, unusual and chronic fatigue and low energy.
- Nausea accompanied by vomiting and fever.
- You may experience unusually frequent headaches.
- You’ll notice irregular bowel habits, especially constipation and diarrhea.
- Unexplained weight loss and reduced interest in eating are typical symptoms of liver trouble.
- Painful joints and muscles.
- Sore throat and a runny nose.
Those who have liver problems often notice an increased sensitivity to bright lights and certain smells. Some smells may seem very intense or even offensive.
When significant liver damage has occurred, symptoms often include urine that is darker-than-normal, stools that are lighter-than-normal, and jaundice. Jaundice is a liver trouble symptom that is characterized by a yellowish tint that appears in the skin and whites of the eyes..
A condition known as hemochromatosis is another of the more serious symptoms of liver disorders. Hemachromatosis causes too much iron to build up in the liver. Symptoms caused by hemochromatosis include:
- an increase in blood sugar,
- reduced energy levels and a lot of fatigue,
- impotence among men and reduced desire among women,
- women may also find themselves menstruating less often,
- liver function test results that are abnormal,
- hypothyroidism, which is often called low thyroid or underactive thyroid,
- abdominal pain,
- arthritis pain that especially strikes the fingers and hands.
Liver trouble symptoms can result in serious health consequences if they are dismissed or disregarded. Your liver performs dozens of metabolic functions that control how well your body operates, how you feel, and your general state of health. You can’t live without your liver: once liver function has been destroyed by abuse or disease, you cannot survive unless you have a liver transplant.
Talk to your healthcare provider right away if you begin to experience pain in the liver area or any of the other symptoms of liver trouble listed above. You undoubtedly know that the earlier a health problem is diagnosed, the better your odds of getting the treatment you need to cure it. It is certainly true with symptoms of liver trouble.