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The liver is one of the most critical organs in the body that performs a multitude of significant functions – from supporting metabolism, maintaining immunity, aiding in digestion and detoxification, and helping in vitamin storage, among others. On April 19 every year, World Liver Day is observed to raise awareness about this critical organ, emphasise the importance of a healthy liver and inform people about the different types of liver problems that are present.

Dr Sanjay Khanna, Director and HOD – Gastroenterology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, shares, “Maintaining liver health is vital for overall well-being, as the liver performs numerous essential functions in the body, including detoxification, metabolism, and nutrient storage. Recognising signs that something may be amiss with the liver is crucial for timely intervention.” The doctor lists out certain signs that can indicate all’s not well for your liver.

World Liver Day 2024: How To Tell If Something Is Amiss

If your liver is not functioning properly, it will lead to a series of health complications, which can even be fatal. Dr Sanjay Khanna mentions some liver problems that you should watch out for.

Jaundice 

Jaundice, a classic symptom of liver dysfunction, occurs when bilirubin, a yellow pigment, accumulates in the blood, leading to yellowing of the skin and eyes, says Dr Khanna. “Abdominal pain and swelling, particularly in the upper right quadrant, may indicate liver enlargement or inflammation, such as in hepatitis or fatty liver disease,” the doctor adds.

Weakness, Weight Loss, Lack Of Appetite

Unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and weakness can be signs of liver impairment, as the liver is intricately involved in metabolism, shares Dr Khanna. Decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms of liver dysfunction.

Also Read: Vaccines For Your Child’s First Year: A Checklist For Essential Immunisations

Bowel Habit Changes 

“Changes in bowel habits, such as pale or bloody stools, may suggest underlying liver issues, as can skin problems like itching or easy bruising, which may arise from compromised bile production and blood clotting function, respectively,” says Dr Khanna. He adds, “Additionally, dark urine can indicate liver problems, as bilirubin can lend a dark hue to urine.”

Regular Check-Up Is Key

The doctor has a word of caution. Dr Khanna points out that symptoms of liver dysfunction may not manifest until significant damage has occurred. ” This underscores the importance of regular check-ups and prompt medical attention for any concerning signs to prevent further complications. Early detection and intervention can greatly improve outcomes for liver health,” says Dr Khanna.



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