8 Serious Warning Signs of Liver Disease
About Liver Disease:
Your liver may be in trouble if you’re overweight, a smoker, or don’t get enough sleep. These factors may lead to fatty liver disease. A fatty liver contributes to insulin resistance and this keeps you from using the fuel you have stored in your body; therefore, your body cannot perform optimally. Over time, insulin resistance affects blood sugar levels by keeping them elevated.
Symptoms of chronic insulin resistance include lethargy, apathy, brain fog, hunger, and weight gain specifically around the mid-section.
Did You Know? Excess abdominal fat is the most dangerous area to hold extra weight. This is because it is close to many vital organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and colon. Visceral fat in the abdominal cavity poses a strong risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, respiratory issues, and some types of cancer.
8 Serious Warning Signs of Liver Disease:
The liver is involved in every metabolic process that takes place in your body. So, if your liver is under stress, especially for a long period of time, then this can cause liver disease.
The main warning signs of liver disease include:
1. Jaundice: yellowing of the skin or the white portion of the eyes. If the liver can’t finish its process properly then bile starts spreading and ends up in other tissues, hence the yellow color.
2. Poor vision: when the liver and bile aren’t working well, the body cannot absorb fat soluble vitamins, which include vitamin A, D, E, and K. Without vitamin A, possible degeneration of vision can occur.
3. Constant congestion: constantly sniffling, allergic reactions or sinus congestion may be due to liver congestion. The more congested the liver is, the less power the liver has.
4. Extreme bowel changes: chronic diarrhea is one of the strongest associations to liver disease. Following this sign, steatorrhea is the next big indication, this means you have a fatty stool.
5. Itching and burning extremities: this is due to bile retention, not dry skin. These signs often appear in the hands and feet because they are furthest away from the heart; with poor circulation it will be difficult to not only bring nutrients there but to remove toxins in those areas as well.
6. Edema: edema is a form of fluid accumulation, where the water leaks out of the vascular system and into the surrounding tissues. A common test to see if you have edema/fluid leakage is called “Pitting Edema”- where you push into an inflamed area of your skin, and when you remove your finger, a deep dimple remains.
7. Bronze skin: mostly associated with Diabetes or the onset of Diabetes, hemochromatosis is a process that makes the skin look bronze. This occurs when there is an iron overload in the liver, it gets trapped in the sweat glands and “rusts” the skin, hence, the bronze color. To know your proper iron levels, get your ferritin levels tested in a blood test.
8. Shoulder pain: whenever we have internal organ stress, this can manifest as referred pain. A common example of this is when the heart is under stress and causes a heart-attack, the referred pain reported is down the left shoulder and arm. In that same effect, when the liver is under stress, one may feel referred pain in the right shoulder, scapula, or neck.
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, your liver may be toxic.
What to Do:
Detox the liver by getting the bowel moving. The first steps one should take include:
Sugar and alcohol: sugar and sugar in alcohol is 50% fructose which is a liver poison. An abundance of sugar in the diet can cause the liver to become inflamed; in fact, eating sugar or drinking alcohol regularly releases inflammatory chemicals to all the organs.
Smoking: same goes for smoking- nothing good comes from inhaling cigarette smoke. The toxic chemicals in tobacco and nicotine causes and progresses oxidative stress on all the organs, including the liver.
Processed foods: they have a lot of chemical additives, artificial colors and preservatives are a burden on the liver, decreasing its ability to function.
Eating lots of fresh, green vegetables and plants, which help cleanse the liver.
Eating lots of foods that are high in antioxidants, which protects the liver from oxidative stress.
Eating lots of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps your body use insulin better.
Eating lots of lean protein, which helps rebuild the liver.
Drink lots of water, which helps decrease inflammation, increase blood circulation, and remove unwanted toxins.
Finally, get moving! Physical activity reduces the risk of organ disease and reverses the signs of aging. Exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, and strength training produce significant changes in ALL the warning signs mentioned above.
The next time you’re feeling lethargic, passive, unfocused, in pain (specifically in the right shoulder), it may mean your liver is in trouble.
For instance, no matter how much you try to relieve that inexplicable shoulder pain through muscle relaxation techniques, such as massage therapy, osteopathy, or muscle creams- the pain is likely to come back time and time again. Soothing the affected muscles will help in the short-term and alleviate some of the stress between the organ and said body part, but it won’t fix the root of the problem, which could be your liver.
Re-think your food choices and boost your exercise for a healthy liver, to live with less pain, and to live a more vital life with increased longevity.
I leave you with this quote on longevity: