Cirrhosis, or chronic liver disease, affects millions of people each year. In 2015, roughly 3.9 million people in the United States were diagnosed, which equates to about 1.6% of the population. That same year, over 40,000 people died from liver disease.
An unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to cirrhosis. Drinking too much alcohol, eating too much fast food, and smoking cigarettes can increase your chances of developing this disease. Below are some of the most common signs of liver damage.
If you experience irregular stomach pain, it could be your liver. Stomach pain that occurs daily, after certain meals, or even after a night of drinking could be attributed to cirrhosis. If you feel any strange pain or swelling on the upper right side of your abdomen, chances are it’s your liver.
Yellow Skin/Yellow Eyes (Jaundice)
When your liver stops working, it’s unable to process bilirubin. Bilirubin is a yellow compound that can get into your blood and result in yellow eyes or skin. If your experience yellow skin or eyes, it could be a result of your liver.
A failing liver can result in autoimmune issues, such as autoimmune hepatitis. This can result in a slew of health-related issues, such as vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite. However, it’s even more painful when your joints are effected. Any unusual joint paint should be reported to your doctor.
Your liver is responsible for cleaning the blood in your system. Unfiltered blood can lead to clotting issues on the surface of your skin, resulting in blemishes and skin spots. These spots are not only visually unappealing, but they can spread, fester, and even grow.
Episodes Of Confusion
Adding on to this of vital functions your liver plays in overall health, you may begin experiencing episodes of confusion if your liver begins to fail. This is strictly due copper build up in your blood and brain.
An untreated failing liver can have long-term effects, such as muscle wasting. When your liver isn’t working properly, over time you may experience swollen arms, legs, and a bloated stomach. This can have serious effects on muscle function and ability.
Protecting Your Liver
There are many ways to start protecting your liver if you believe an unhealthy lifestyle could be contributing to its failure. Here are some tips anybody can use at any time:
- Vitamin E: Nuts, Wheat, Leafy Vegetables
- Monitor Alcohol Intake
- Start A Diet
- Exercise Weekly
- Monitor Blood-Sugar Levels
- Monitor Cholesterol
If you have any friends or family members suffering from liver damage who could benefit from this information, do not hesitate to spread awareness of these eating habits that could save their lives.