Chronic liver diseases are a common health issue, and it is estimated that about 31,000 people in the U.S. die from cirrhosis annually.
Our lifestyle choices, unhealthy diets, and habits like smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption, can often damage the liver, leading to extra stress on it, that eventually leads to an inability of the liver to break down fats and produce energy.
According to says Rohit Satoskar, MD, of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, the liver is “an organ you could easily trash if you don’t take good care of it. And once you trash it, it’s gone.”
Therefore, it is of high importance to know the signs of liver damage and prevent additional complications.
First of all, these are the most common signs of liver damage you should never ignore:
Abdominal Aches: Swellings and pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen indicate liver damage
Muscle Wasting: A diseased liver can lead to fluid imbalances that cause an oversized stomach with swollen ankles and skinny/weak arms and legs.
Yellow Skin or Eyes (Jaundice): A damaged liver can often allow bilirubin into the blood, which leads to yellow skin or eyes
Confusion: A damaged liver might lead to excess copper levels in the brain and blood, that might cause Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, like confusion.
Joint pain: Liver disease often leads to joint pain, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite, as they are all caused by autoimmune hepatitis, a condition where the immune system attacks the liver cell tissues.
Skin Spots: When the liver does not function properly, it cannot clean the blood well, and this causes clotting issues and large skin blemishes.
When it comes to protection of this important organ, Ray Chung, MD, medical director of the liver transplant program at Massachusetts General Hospital says:
“It’s all about a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of your liver is far more about avoiding what’s worse than it is about eating or drinking things that are particularly nourishing to the liver.”
In order to prevent liver damage, you should follow the tips below:
Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, as if you control your body weight, you will be able to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that leads to cirrhosis.
Make sure you limit the intake of alcohol, as alcohol abuse is the number one cause of liver damage.
Increase the intake of vitamin E, that prevents cell damage, and consume more seeds, nuts, wheat germ, vegetable oils and leafy greens.