Updated: Mar 15, 2021
It is well known that the liver contributes, largely, to every metabolic activity taking place in the body; and so, it follows that liver damage is one of the most important health hazards we should all be aware of.
A "Fatty Liver" is the most common type of liver disease. When the body becomes insulin resistant, fat, toxins and metabolic by-products start accumulating in the body, leading to a congestion of harmful substances.
Stages Of Liver Disease
Inflammation - in the early stages, the liver is enlarged or inflamed
Fibrosis - scar tissue replaces healthy tissue
Cirrhosis - the livers essential functions start lacking due to built up scar tissue
End-stage Liver Disease - the final stage, where the liver damage turns into liver cancer, acute liver failure, or a number of other severe liver complications arise.
Many things can cause liver damage, from alcohol and overeating to less preventable causes like infections and genetic conditions. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of some of the ways your body warns you of a toxic liver.
"the liver is... indirectly involved in every single chemical reaction that takes place in the body"
Before we dive into the warning signs, let's first discuss some of the functions of the liver. The liver is directly responsible for about 500-600 of these reactions. Some of these include:
Manufacturing, activating, modifying, and degradation of hormones in the body
Manufacturing glycogen from excess glucose, to use as blood sugar
Glucogenesis, where glycerine and mineral acids are turned into glucose
Manufacturing tens of thousands of proteins in the body
What’s even more impressive, is that the liver is also indirectly involved in every single chemical reaction that takes place in the body.
Now that the importance of the liver has been made clear, let's discuss the warning signs of a damaged one.
Bronze Diabetes/Hemochromatosis - Hemochromatosis, which is associated with diabetes, is when there are various colours in the blood. This is due to excessive absorption of iron in the diet. If the iron is trapped in the sweat gland, the skin begins to have a bronze appearance, like rusted metal. If there is no diagnosis or prevention, hemochromatosis can lead to damage of the liver, pancreas, and heart.
Xanthelasma - This occurs when there is the continuous deposition of cholesterol, and the liver produces bile.
Jaundice - This is when the white portion of the eyes turns yellow.
Bowel changes - This is a result of chronic diarrhea and steatorrhea.
Itching and burning - Bile retention in the hands and feet.
Poor vision - This can be characterised by increasingly bad vision in the dark, as well as complete blindness
Allergies - Patients can become newly allergic to an array of substances in their environment and in foods.
Ascites/edema - Fluid accumulation caused by hypoalbuminemia
Upper Body Pains - Some upper parts of the body can become weak because of liver damage, including pains in the heart, lungs, shoulder, and neck.
Fatigue - characterised by chronic tiredness and lethargy
If you notice even a few of these warning signs, be sure to see a doctor. Liver damage can be extremely costly on the body.
The importance of the liver can not be over emphasized. We hope this article makes you aware of the warning signs of a toxic liver. Be mindful of these signs, and stay healthy!