The leading English tabloid – The Times of India recently made some startling claims on the state of affairs of liver health and liver diseases in India. The article made the following assertions. First, liver disease is the tenth major cause of deaths in India says the article, quoting the World Health Organization. Second, liver diseases may affect one in every five Indians. Third, around 10 lac people in India are diagnosed with new cases of liver cirrhosis every year. Given the alarming proportions of the challenge posed by liver diseases in the country, it makes enormous good sense to democratize information among people on the subtle signs of one’s liver being affected with diseases. In this piece, there are 10 such subtle symptoms that may indicate the need for medical intervention, lifestyle changes and if need be, liver transplant surgery. While this is an inclusive list of diverse symptoms of being afflicted with liver diseases, it may be extended to include many more pieces of factual information and medical diagnostics to aid patients suffering from liver diseases and in need of a liver transplant.
So, here are the 10 subtle symptoms that indicate towards an unhealthy Liver:
- High Levels of Fatigue
First among the subtle symptoms of a person suffering from liver diseases is the phenomenon of tiring down frequently. While tiredness and fatigue are associated with a vast multitude of diseases, it assumes special relevance in the context of liver diseases. Two reasons that doctors attribute to the association between liver diseases and fatigue are consistently high levels of malnutrition found in patients suffering from liver diseases and hormonal abnormalities.
- Recurrent Bouts of High Fever
Second on the list of the ten subtle symptoms of one suffering from liver diseases is the recurrence of high fever. Yes, consistently high body temperatures may be an indicator of a person suffering from liver diseases. When the liver fails to perform its functions, there is a surge in the levels of endotoxins in the blood. These endotoxins which are not cleared by the liver trigger recurring bouts of high fever with body temperatures reaching in exorbitantly high levels.
- Amnesia and Decrease in Mental Function
Third on the list of symptoms of liver diseases is the phenomenon of amnesia. Research asserts that adverse liver health is synonymous with amnesia and consistently high levels of decrease in mental function. Hepatic encephalopathy, a specific prototype of acute liver disorder can lead to frequent memory loss and unexpected changes in the personality of the patient.
- Enlargement of Male Chest
The fourth sign of suffering from liver diseases found in males is the enlargement of Chest. Considered to be a symptom of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases in males, the shocking enlargement of the male breast may be attributed to the hormonal imbalances between estrogen and testosterone. Such a hormonal imbalance triggers the growth of excessive chest tissue that is referred to as gynecomastia.
- Confusion and Difficulties in Making Decisions
Yet another sign of suffering from liver diseases is heightened confusion and difficulties in making decisions. Hepatic Encephalopathy which is caused by liver failure is found to be associated with inability to understand things, confusion and experiencing difficulties in making decisions.
- Feeling Cold All the Time
Sixth on the list of symptoms associated with suffering from liver diseases is the phenomenon of feeling cold all the time. It has been observed that patients suffering from liver diseases feel the chill more often than not. This happens due to a sudden fall in the ability of the liver to secrete bile juice or its complete failure to secrete bile juice in cases of patients suffering from acute liver diseases.
- Concurring Fatty Liver Disease
Yet another symptom of liver health of a person being affected is the possibility of contracting a fatty liver disease. Known as NAFLD or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in medical parlance, fatty liver condition occurs due to the presence of high proportions of fat content in the food consumed, thus leading to the accumulation of fat in the liver. While a normal and healthy human liver has no fat content, the liver of a patient suffering from fatty liver condition tends accumulate fat over a length of time. When left unattended, a fatty liver disease may give way to liver cirrhosis and in severe cases, may also lead to the occurrence of a heart attack or a stroke. First signs of concurring fatty liver disease may include a sensation of discomfort and pain under the ribs. Even as complex as the disease is, remedial solutions to the disease include simple things such as getting the right amount of sleep and lifestyle alterations including dietary changes and changes to the exercise regimen.
- Experiencing Nausea and Loss of Appetite
Patients suffering from liver diseases are also known to experience nausea and loss of appetite. What explains this? It is known that the liver is responsible for the secretion of bile juices for effective digestion of the food. When the liver malfunctions, it fails to secrete the desired quantum of bile juices, thereby leading to indigestion and consequently, the feeling of nausea and loss of appetite.
- Personality Disorders and Feeling Disorientated
Yet another symptom of a person suffering from liver diseases is the occurrence of personality disorders and feeling disoriented. There is an explanation for this in medical sciences. The liver is responsible for cleansing of toxins in the body. When a person consumes proteins in his or her diet, ammonia is released into the human body. A healthy and perfectly working liver cleanses the body of such toxins whereas a malfunctioning liver fails to do so and thus fail to prevent the accumulation of such toxins in the body which eventually affect the brain of the person and lead to personality disorders and feeling disoriented.
- Terry’s Nails
Last on the list of the symptoms of liver diseases is the occurrence of Terry’s nails. People suffering from liver diseases are known to have nails that are predominantly white withered patches or dark rims at the tip. Although found to exist in aging people, Terry’s nails can serve as a warning for the occurrence of liver cirrhosis, chronic kidney diseases and congestive heart failure. In fact it has been observed that more than 80% of patients suffering from liver cirrhosis have Terry’s nails.
In light of the information shared above on the symptoms of liver diseases and the subtle signs that one needs to watch out for, it makes good sense to suggest that it is better to be proactive and prevent the onset of liver diseases than to get affected and then look for a cure. Wish you all reading this take great care of your liver and wish you great health ahead.