The liver is the largest and heaviest internal organ in the human body. It is situated in the right side of the abdomen and partially extends to the left side of the abdomen. This organ is responsible for many vital functions. It produces proteins, factors that aid in blood clotting, synthesis glycogen, produces bile, and manufactures cholesterol and triglycerides. The liver is also metabolizes many of the toxins that are ingested, such as chemicals, medications, and drugs, as well as substances that occur naturally, such as insulin. Once these substances are metabolized by the liver, they are excreted by the kidneys in the form of urine.
Like any organ, the liver can be affected by disease. These diseases can be the result of poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, taking large amounts of medications, and they can also be hereditary. The following are signs of liver disease that require immediate attention.
1. Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes
One of the most telltale signs of liver disease is jaundice. This condition occurs as a result of an excessive buildup of bilirubin, a bile pigment, which is yellow in color. When the liver is functioning normally, bilirubin is effectively metabolized by the liver and eliminated from the body in the form of waste.
However, when the liver is damaged or diseased, it cannot effectively metabolize bilirubin, which means that instead of being eliminated, the bile pigment remains in the body and builds up in the bloodstream. The most obvious sign of jaundice is yellowing of the skin or eyes, which is the result of the high levels of bile pigment in the blood. Another symptom of jaundice is excessive itching. In extreme cases, it can also impact the function of the brain. If you are jaundice, seek medical help as soon as possible.