Liver - Symptoms of Disease

What symptoms did you experience with liver disease?

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What are symptoms of diseases of the liver?

The liver is a large organ and a significant amount of liver tissue requires to be damaged before a person experiences symptoms of disease. Symptoms also may depend upon the type of liver disease.

  • The inflammation of hepatitis may be associated with pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, nausea and vomiting. This may also be seen in people with gallstones.
  • People who have jaundice (have a yellow-orange hue to their skin) because the liver cannot metabolize bilirubin (the normal breakdown product of old red blood cells).
  • There may be a tendency to bleed excessively or bruise easily because the liver is unable to manufacture blood clotting factors in adequate amounts.
  • Fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and shortness of breath because of muscle wasting; due to the inability of the liver to manufacture proteins.
  • Because the liver is involved in the metabolism of sex hormones, gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men) and impotence may occur.
  • In end-stage liver disease, ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity), and leg swelling may occur because of inadequate production of albumin by the liver.
  • There also may be difficulty in metabolizing ammonia causing its levels in the blood to rise, resulting in confusion due to encephalopathy (encephala=brain + pathy=dysfunction).
Return to Liver (Anatomy and Function)

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