20 Liver Warning Signs You Can't Afford to Ignore— Best Life (2022)

Your liver does a lot for your health. As one of the body's largest organs, it's responsible for metabolic functions like converting nutrients from your diet so your body can use themand making sure toxic substances are flushed out before they cause any harm, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. But when your liver is in trouble and not functioning properly, there are a handful of ways it tries to tell you that something is wrong. Because it is so crucial that you don't ignore these hints, however subtle they may be, and maintain your health during these unprecedented times, here are 20 liver warning signs you should be on the lookout for.

RELATED: If You Notice This on Your Skin, Get Your Liver Checked, Says Mayo Clinic.

1

You have little to no appetite.

20 Liver Warning Signs You Can't Afford to Ignore— Best Life (1)

You used to chow down like you were in a food competition, and now you're never hungry. So what gives? According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common signs of liver damage is a loss of appetite, making your non-existent hunger pangs something to be wary of.

RELATED: If You Notice This on Your Hands, Get Your Liver Checked, Mayo Clinic Says.

2

Your sleep patterns are inconsistent.

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There are many things that can disturb your sleep pattern, but a study published in the Egyptian Journal of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis found one possible culprit is liver cirrhosis, which can make it especially hard to get a good night's rest—even if you're counting sleep like it's your job.

3

Your memory isn't at its sharpest.

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Forgetting where you left your car keys is one thing, but if your memory has gotten much worse lately, there might be a reason for that. When you're experiencing liver failure, the organ can't properly remove toxins from the blood, and that can result in them building up in the brain—AKA hepatic encephalopathy, Healthline reports.Unfortunately, one of the results of that is memory loss.

4

You're tired all the time.

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20 Liver Warning Signs You Can't Afford to Ignore— Best Life (4)

Feeling really tired lately, no matter what you do? Liver disease might be to blame. One of the most incredibly common signs of liver damage is chronic fatigue, which according to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, could occur due to changes in neurotransmission within the brain.

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Primary biliary cholangitis—which the Mayo Clinic says is a chronic disease that destroys the bile ducts in your liver—doesn't typically have super-noticeable symptoms, but one early sign is experiencing itchy skin. Sure, your skin might just be dry, but if it's becoming a regular thing, it might be worth getting checked out—especially because itchy skin is also an indicator of cirrhosis of the liver, the Cleveland Clinic says.

6

You notice yellowing of your eyes or skin.

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Seeing the whites of your eyes start to turn yellow—or experiencing yellowing of your skin—can be incredibly scary, but it has a solid explanation: it's called jaundice and it's due to a high level of bilirubin in the body, which is a yellowish pigment that's secreted by the liver, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you do notice the discoloration, it could be from many different signs of liver damage, from cirrhosis to hepatitis B.

7

You experience sudden weight gain.

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If you're suddenly gaining weight out of nowhere, your liver might be to blame. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it could be a sign you have liver cirrhosis, a disease that develops slowly and replaces healthy liver tissue with scar tissue, blocking blood flow through the liver and inhibiting the organ from working properly.

RELATED: Drinking This 3 Times a Day Slashes Your Risk of Liver Disease, Study Says.

8

Or you unexpectedly lose weight.

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20 Liver Warning Signs You Can't Afford to Ignore— Best Life (8)

While suddenly gaining weight can be one of the signs of liver damage, losing weight can be a symptom, too. Seeing the number drop on the scale isn't just a sign of liver cirrhosis—according to the Mayo Clinic, it's also a red flag for hepatitis C, a viral infection that leads to the inflammation of the liver.

9

Your palms turn red.

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Speaking of red flags, do you suddenly have red palms for no reason? It could be due to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that, according to the Mayo Clinic, involves too much fat being stored in liver cells that affects people who barely drink—or totally avoid!—alcohol.

20 Liver Warning Signs You Can't Afford to Ignore— Best Life (10)

One of the most shocking warning signs of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is experiencing enlarged breasts if you're a man. It's a very mind-boggling occurrence, but there's an explanation. It's thought that the growth of excess breast tissue—aka gynecomastia—occurs due to an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone.

11

You notice changes in your personality.

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Experiencing changes to your personality can be scary and sometimes it might be others that notice before you do. Just like how hepatic encephalopathy can cause memory loss, all those toxins building up in your brain can also decrease mental function, causing you to not act like yourself, according to Healthline.

12

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You bruise easily.

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As you get older, your body can start to bruise more easily due to your skin getting thinner. If there's really no explanation for why more marks are showing up on your body, though, it might be one of the signs of liver damage. Liver disease can also make it a more frequent occurrence, the Mayo Clinic says.

13

You experience swelling of your legs or ankles.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, liver disease can be caused by everything from alcohol use to obesity, and one common warning sign is something you probably wouldn't expect: swelling in your legs and ankles. If you're experiencing puffiness and aren't sure why, a visit to your doc might be in order to make sure it's not something serious.

14

You are easily confused.

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Unfortunately, the hepatic encephalopathy caused by liver failure can also mess with your ability to understand things. This can result in you feeling confused about things that wouldn't normally confuse you.

15

Or have trouble focusing.

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Let's be real—everyone has dealt with concentration issues. Sometimes your brain just doesn't want to work. If you feel like you're having trouble concentrating regularly, though, that could also be your liver giving you a warning sign that it's failing, the American Liver Foundation says.

RELATED: 20 Ways You Didn't Realize You're Ruining Your Heart.

16

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You have more aches and pains than usual.

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You haven't been working out more than usual, so what gives with all your body pain? One possible reason is primary biliary cholangitis, which aside from causing itchy skin can also lead to bone, muscle, or joint pain, the Mayo Clinic says.

17

You feel bloated.

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If your bloating can't be blamed on a big meal, it might be due to the buildup of fluid in the abdomen, which is known as ascites. Since abdominal swelling is one of the warning signs of liver damage, it's a good idea to make a doctor's appointment, just in case.

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18

Your urine is a darker color than usual.

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Seeing dark urine in the toilet after going to the bathroom can be a total shocker—and it's also one of the tell-tale signs of liver damage, the Mayo Clinic says. While bilirubin is responsible for the yellowing of the eyes or skin, it can also change the color of your urine, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

19

You regularly get the chills.

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Have a chronic case of the chills that no amount of cozy blankets can fix? It could be a sign of cholestasis during liver disease, which the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine say occurs when the organ's flow of bile is reduced or has stopped completely.

20

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Your eyes or mouth are dry.

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There are plenty of different reasons behind experiencing dry eyes or a dry mouth—from your age to the medications you're taking—but one possible culprit is a lot more serious. Primary biliary cholangitis is known to cause the problem, the Mayo Clinic says, but luckily it's an early symptom of the chronic disease.

RELATED: If You Notice This on Your Face, Have Your Kidneys Checked.

FAQs

How do you feel when your liver is damaged? ›

As the liver becomes more severely damaged, more obvious and serious symptoms can develop, such as: yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) swelling in the legs, ankles and feet caused by a build-up of fluid (oedema) swelling in your abdomen caused by a build-up of fluid known as ascites.

What can your feet tell you about your liver? ›

And then you also have hot feet hot feet is another symptom of a bad liver. And then we have bad

What does liver damage skin look like? ›

People may have a reddish purple rash of tiny dots or larger splotches, caused by bleeding from small blood vessels in the skin. If the liver function has been impaired for a long time, people may itch all over, and small yellow bumps of fat can be deposited in the skin or eyelids.

What part of the body itches with liver problems? ›

Symptoms of itching with liver disease

Itching associated with liver disease tends to be worse in the late evening and during the night. Some people may itch in one area, such as a limb, the soles of their feet, or the palms of their hands, while others experience an all-over itch.

What does a swollen liver feel like? ›

You likely won't notice an enlarged liver on your own. In some severe cases, you might notice a feeling of bloating or fullness in your belly, or an ache in your upper right abdomen, where your liver is. It's more likely your healthcare provider will discover it during an exam.

What drugs can cause liver damage? ›

Other drugs that can lead to liver injury include:
  • Amiodarone.
  • Anabolic steroids.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Chlorpromazine.
  • Erythromycin.
  • Halothane (a type of anesthesia)
  • Methyldopa.
  • Isoniazid.
27 Oct 2020

How quickly does cirrhosis progress? ›

Cirrhosis Can Develop Very Rapidly in Some

Usually, alcoholic cirrhosis develops after more than a decade of heavy drinking, but that is not always the case. Due to genetic factors, some heavy drinkers can develop cirrhosis much sooner. 3 That is because some people have livers that are much more sensitive to alcohol.

What are the 3 signs of a fatty liver? ›

Symptoms
  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface.
  • Enlarged spleen.
  • Red palms.
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
22 Sept 2021

Does liver affect face? ›

Many skin conditions – from acne to eczema to psoriasis – can be linked to poor liver function. A tired, overworked liver can lead to dry, itchy skin, acne, and a dull complexion.

Do blood tests show up liver problems? ›

Liver function tests are blood tests used to help diagnose and monitor liver disease or damage. The tests measure the levels of certain enzymes and proteins in your blood.

Can your liver affect your legs? ›

Cirrhosis slows the normal flow of blood through the liver, thus increasing pressure in the vein that brings blood to the liver from the intestines and spleen. Swelling in the legs and abdomen. The increased pressure in the portal vein can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs (edema) and in the abdomen (ascites).

Can liver issues cause hair loss? ›

Cirrhosis Symptoms

Symptoms of cirrhosis include coughing up blood, hair loss and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes).

How Long Can You Live With Liver Failure? ›

Patients with compensated cirrhosis have a median survival that may extend beyond 12 years. Patients with decompensated cirrhosis have a worse prognosis than do those with compensated cirrhosis; the average survival without transplantation is approximately two years [13,14].

How do u know if u have fatty liver? ›

During the physical exam, your doctor will examine your body and check your weight and height. Your doctor will look for signs of fatty liver disease, such as: An enlarged liver. Signs of cirrhosis, such as jaundice, a condition that causes your skin and whites of your eyes to turn yellow.

What were your first cirrhosis symptoms? ›

The main symptoms of cirrhosis include: tiredness and weakness. feeling sick (nausea) and loss of appetite resulting in weight loss. red patches on your palms and small, spider-like blood vessels on your skin (spider angiomas) above waist level.

Where does liver rash appear? ›

Rashes from the treatment of hepatitis c appear at points of contact from treatments, on the chest, arms, and torso. If a rash is due to liver damage skin symptoms may include: redness. severe itching in the same spot.

Does liver disease cause weight gain? ›

Overburdened Liver Slows Down Metabolism

When the liver is overburdened and consequently unable to metabolise nutrients and fats properly it slows down metabolism leading to more serious health issues as well as weight gain and lethargy.

Can you feel liver pain in your back? ›

Even though it's the largest organ inside your body, it can be hard to pinpoint the pain from your liver. It's easy to confuse it with pain from your stomach, just to its left. Depending on the cause, a liver that hurts may show up as pain in the front center of your belly, in your back, or even your shoulders.

What happens when your liver enzymes are high? ›

Elevated liver enzymes often indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, elevating liver enzymes on blood tests.

Does your stomach hurt with liver problems? ›

Nausea and upset stomach are common early symptoms of liver disease, but as your liver's ability to eliminate toxins decreases, your digestive distress will likely increase.

What vitamins are hard on your liver? ›

Avoid certain supplements: Excess iron, niacin, and vitamin A (the retinol form, not beta carotene) tend to stress an unhealthy liver.

What vitamins are good for liver repair? ›

Which Vitamins Are Good for the Liver? Vitamins that play a crucial role in maintaining liver health include vitamin D, E, C, B. Individuals need to take these vitamins regularly through a healthy diet plan.

Can liver damage caused by medication be reversed? ›

Usually, drug induced liver injury starts to resolve within a few days to a week of stopping therapy. In some instances, the resolution is quite rapid (acetaminophen, niacin), but in most cases, the injury does not fully resolve for several weeks or months.

How much alcohol do you have to drink to get cirrhosis? ›

According to some reports, cirrhosis does not develop below a lifetime alcohol consumption of 100 kg of undiluted alcohol[8]. This amount corresponds to an average daily intake of 30 grams of undiluted alcohol for 10 years.

What are signs that cirrhosis of the liver is getting worse? ›

If cirrhosis gets worse, some of the symptoms and complications include: yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) vomiting blood. itchy skin.

Does cirrhosis make you sleep a lot? ›

Sleep–wake disturbances are common in liver cirrhosis and associated with impaired quality of life. The most common abnormalities are insomnia (difficulties falling asleep and maintaining sleep, or unrefreshing sleep), excessive daytime sleepiness, and sleep–wake inversion (disturbances of circadian rhythmicity).

How do I make my liver healthy again? ›

Here are 13 tried and true ways to achieve liver wellness!
  1. Maintain a healthy weight. ...
  2. Eat a balanced diet. ...
  3. Exercise regularly. ...
  4. Avoid toxins. ...
  5. Use alcohol responsibly. ...
  6. Avoid the use of illicit drugs. ...
  7. Avoid contaminated needles. ...
  8. Get medical care if you're exposed to blood.
24 Jun 2021

How can I repair my liver? ›

5 Lifestyle Tips For Repairing A Damaged Liver
  1. Reduce Your Drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the biggest cause of liver damage – and death from liver disease – is chronic alcohol consumption. ...
  2. Eat The Right Foods. ...
  3. Cut Out Other Toxins. ...
  4. Get Active. ...
  5. Be Mindful Of Medications.
7 May 2020

Can a blood test detect liver problems? ›

Blood tests used to assess the liver are known as liver function tests. But liver function tests can be normal at many stages of liver disease. Blood tests can also detect if you have low levels of certain substances, such as a protein called serum albumin, which is made by the liver.

Would liver problems show in urine? ›

Bilirubin in urine can be an early sign of liver damage. It may even show up before you have symptoms. So, your provider may order a bilirubin in urine test if you have a high risk for liver damage or disease because of: A family history of liver disease.

How do I detox my liver ASAP? ›

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Eat a well-balanced diet every day. That's five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables, along with fiber from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Be sure to include protein for the enzymes that help your body detox naturally.

What is the fastest way to cleanse your liver? ›

Here is our list of the top eight super-foods to naturally detox and cleanse your liver.
  1. Tea. Tea is widely considered to be beneficial for health, but evidence has shown that it may have benefits for the liver. ...
  2. Cruciferous vegetables. ...
  3. Turmeric. ...
  4. Citrus. ...
  5. Beetroot. ...
  6. Garlic. ...
  7. Walnuts. ...
  8. Olive oil.

Does lemon water detox your liver? ›

Many citrus fruits, including lemon, can be added to water to help stimulate and flush out the liver. To help improve liver function, enjoy 4-6 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with water each day.

What vitamins are good for liver repair? ›

Which Vitamins Are Good for the Liver? Vitamins that play a crucial role in maintaining liver health include vitamin D, E, C, B. Individuals need to take these vitamins regularly through a healthy diet plan.

Which fruit is best for liver? ›

Fill your fruit basket with apples, grapes and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, which are proven to be liver-friendly fruits. Consume grapes as it is, in the form of a grape juice or supplement your diet with grape seed extracts to increase antioxidant levels in your body and protect your liver from toxins.

How quickly does liver heal? ›

Healing can begin as early as a few days to weeks after you stop drinking, but if the damage is severe, healing can take several months. In some cases, “if the damage to the liver has been long-term, it may not be reversible,” warns Dr. Stein.

Does liver affect face? ›

Many skin conditions – from acne to eczema to psoriasis – can be linked to poor liver function. A tired, overworked liver can lead to dry, itchy skin, acne, and a dull complexion.

How can I tell if my liver is getting better? ›

For example, blood tests for transaminases are often used to monitor liver inflammation. If the numbers go down, that's a good sign. Also, blood tests of clotting function, such as the PT/INR, can be used to assess if the liver is producing proteins appropriately.

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