Liver damage can be caused by numerous reasons. While most cases of liver diseases are hereditary, it could also be due to obesity, alcohol abuse, or viral infections. Whatever the cause may be, it is very important for a person with liver problems to have it checked and acted upon immediately. A damaged liver, if left untreated, could result in a chronic liver condition called cirrhosis, which often leads to liver malfunction and death.Thankfully, there are different ways to check if a person has a liver disease. By simply observing a person’s appearance, smell, and overall wellness, you can make an assessment to see if somebody might have a damaged liver.
9. Discolored Bowels
A healthy stool should have a brown color. On the other hand, a pale or a light-colored stool is a possible indication of liver disease — either the drainage of the biliary system (which consists of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas) is not functioning properly or the bile ducts are blocked.
8. Coated Tongue
The liver produces bile which digest fat from the food we eat. If a person’s liver is damaged, it cannot produce enough bile to aid in digestion which could result in bacteria and yeast overgrowth. This is very noticeable in the tongue wherein the surface of the tongue seems to be coated with a whitish starchy substance.
7. Bad Breath
Known in the medical field as fetor hepaticus, bad breath is also a clear sign of liver problems. If the liver cannot function properly in cleansing the body, it could produce foul-smelling air. This results to a musty and unpleasant odor that can be smelled from a person’s mouth.
6. Body Odor
Our body produces sweat regularly in order to cleanse our skin. A person with a damaged liver, however, may experience irregularities in his sweat such as excessive sweating, cold sweats, and sweating during the evening. This often results to a foul smell and, eventually, bad body odor.
5. Dark Circles Under the Eyes
Although darkened areas around the eyes are usually associated with lack of sleep, they could also be a manifestation of chronic liver damage. Studies have observed that most people experiencing liver problems have very visible dark circles in the facial area, particularly under the eyes.
4. Itchy or Swollen Palms and Soles
As mentioned above, a damaged liver cannot produce enough bile which leads to yeast and bacteria growth. Aside from the tongue, these unwanted pathogens could also nest in the skin, especially in the palms and soles, and could cause itchiness and swelling.
3. Yellowish Skin and Eyes
Once the liver filters the blood, it gets rid of aged red blood cells and breaks down hemoglobin. This process results to a yellowish pigment end-product called biliburin which is normally excreted in bile and urine. If the liver is damaged, it won’t be able to properly excrete biliburin and these pigments build up underneath the skin and nails or in the whites of the eye. This causes the skin or the eyes to appear yellowish, a health condition which is known in the medical field as jaundice.
Although there could be many reasons behind it, a damaged liver is a possible culprit of improper digestion. This could result to lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, exhaustion, or fatigue — symptoms that people with liver problems manifest during the initial stage.
The liver is also responsible in managing the production and processing of hormones in the body. If a person’s liver is damaged, an imbalance in the hormonal supply of the body could occur. Manifestations of hormonal imbalance include withered testicles and enlarged breasts for men and irregular menstrual cycle for women.
If a person displays one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to have him consult a doctor immediately and have his liver checked before it’s too late.