Problems such as weight loss, lack of appetite, retention of fluids and confusion, etc., can indicate liver problems in your body. If you are suffering from or have a history of such problems, you should get a Liver Function Test today!
People who have experienced liver failure are at high risk of liver cancer, but due to the lack of awareness on the matter, most people neither know the causes nor its symptoms. In this article, we will be discussing the signs indicating the need for a liver check. We will also discuss how it can be identified and analysed through a Liver Function Test.
5 Signs why your liver needs attention
- Fluid retention
Fluid retention is one of the most common signs of liver disease. It typically occurs in people suffering from a condition that leads to scar tissues replacing the healthy liver tissues, also known as cirrhosis. The accumulation of fluids may lead to swelling in the abdomen or legs. The condition occurs due to a sudden increase in blood pressure in the liver veins or when the liver can’t produce albumin, a protein that helps keep fluid from leaking out of your blood vessels into other tissues. In moderate cases, following a low-sodium diet or taking water pills can help, whereas in severe cases may require paracentesis.
- Lack of appetite
If you are a foodie but losing appetite lately, there may be a chance of a liver problem. According to studies, loss of appetite is one of the most common signs of liver damage, meaning that your non-existent hunger is a matter of concern. This condition can lead to weight loss, indicating both liver cirrhosis and hepatitis C.
- Frequent occurrence of chills
If you are suffering from chronic chills and a blanket or the room heater is not bringing you any comfort, it could be a sign of cholestasis. According to experts, this condition occurs when the flow of bile in the liver has either reduced or stopped entirely.
- Darkening of urine, skin or eyes
If you notice a yellowish tint in the whites of your eyes or the darkening of your skin, the chances are that you have contracted jaundice. It usually occurs when there is a spike in the bilirubin levels of your body. Dark urine is also an indicator of a bilirubin spike. This discolouration can indicate liver problems such as cirrhosis and hepatitis B.
One of the primary functions of the liver is to filter out toxins. Failing to do so may put the brain at risk. This condition is also known as hepatic encephalopathy, which can cause puzzlement, memory retention issues, lethargy and even coma. Using a laxative lactulose can help flush the toxins in your colon out by binding into them before they get into your bloodstream.
Liver Function Tests (LFTs)
A liver function test evaluates the health and functioning of your liver. This examination process analysis the levels of enzymes and proteins in the blood; people of either gender and over ten years of age are eligible for this test. LFTs also help indicate the levels of proteins, including albumin, globulin and bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin, an orange-yellow pigment produced as the by-product of blood cell breakdown, can lead to problems like jaundice and liver damage. For the proper functioning of the liver, these elements need periodic monitoring. LFTs also help measure the functional enzymes present in the liver, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
If you have a history of liver problems, an LFT from Apollo 24|7 will help you assess your liver’s current condition. It will also provide you with a comparative analysis for better understanding.
Here is the list of possibilities that can be ruled out by conducting an LFT:
- The degree of damage caused to the liver through infections like Hepatitis B and C.
- Side effects of medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, statins etc.
- Liver damage due to excessive alcohol.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, especially in individuals with diabetes and obesity.
Most people associate alcohol abuse with liver problems which is true, but not limited to this. Your liver needs as much care and consideration as the other organs of your body since there is no artificial replacement that can mimic the functions of the organ.