Symptoms Of Liver Disease

Written by Amy Hall
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Without a doubt liver disease can be an extremely sneaky illness, as symptoms are oftentimes nonexistent until the condition progresses to the advanced stages. Patients may walk around for months, even years, before they begin to notice that something is amiss. When symptoms do present themselves, they demand attention as they can cause great discomfort in the patient.

Liver disease that is brought on by alcoholism may present itself in the form of a distended abdomen, which is the direct result of an enlarged liver. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal tenderness or pain, fatigue, excessive thirst, fever, fluid retention in the abdomen, jaundice, and even mental confusion. Hepatitis C can cause similar symptoms, though patients may notice that their urine is darker and/or their stools are pale in color.

Recognizing Liver Disease

When cancer is present, the patient may also begin to notice a dramatic shift in appetite, with nausea sometimes being present. Depending on how advanced the cancer is, the patient may not know anything is going on until the liver is fully consumed by the cancerous growth. Whenever a change in weight or appetite happens without any known reason, it is best to see a doctor immediately to rule out liver disease, cancer, or any other ailments that could affect the liver.

If your doctor suspects something is wrong with the liver function, tests will usually be ordered. Blood tests are standard which test for liver enzymes, red blood cell count, and white blood cell count. A physical examination can reveal an enlarged liver through manual palpitation of the abdomen. Depending on the test results, the patient may undergo treatment to deal with the cause of the liver disease. Rest, a healthy diet, and exercise may also be prescribed to boost the immune system as well.

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