From yellowing eyes to constant itching and tiredness, these are the danger signs that may indicate serious problems.
Your eyes turn yellow
“Yellow eyes are a sign your liver isn’t doing very well and is probably the most specific sign of liver disease,” says KV Narayanan Menon, MD, medical director of liver transplantation at Cleveland Clinic in the US. A yellow coloured substance called bilirubin is usually broken down by the liver so it can be removed from the body, but when the liver is struggling it can cause bilirubin to build up, leading to yellowing of the whites of the eyes.
Your belly fills with fluid
If your belly suddenly balloons and doesn’t stop, it could be more than ordinary bloating. “Increased pressure within the blood vessels around the liver can lead to fluid build-up in the abdomen,” says Dr. Menon. It’s important to see a doctor, who will be able to tell you if you’re bloated from gas, food, or fluid.
You have Hepatitis A, B, or C
When viruses or parasites infect the liver, it causes inflammation and reduced liver function. The most common types of liver infection are the hepatitis viruses; A is spread by coming into contact with a contaminated person’s faeces or by ingesting compromised food and drink, while B and C are most commonly transmitted through blood, sex, or contact with other bodily fluids. “There are some really good treatments out there if you have hepatitis C, so people should get tested,” says Dr. Menon. Talk to your doctor about what other steps you can take to keep your liver as healthy as possible.