How to Recognize the Symptoms of Liver Disease

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Liver disease is a broad term for conditions, diseases, or infections that can make the liver function improperly or stop liver function altogether. Use this guide to help recognize the symptoms.

Step 1: Learn the facts
Learn what causes liver disease, including viruses, bacteria, and chemical or physical changes. Liver disease isn’t always accompanied by obvious symptoms.

Tip
Check your family history. Liver disease can be hereditary.

Step 2: Look for the yellow
Look for yellowing of the eyes or the skin, also known as jaundice, which is a clear indicator of liver disease.

Step 3: Notice changes in eating habits
Pay attention to changes in your relationship with food and eating, including a loss of appetite, nausea, changes in your weight, and vomiting.

Step 4: Check your toilet
Check your urine and stool. Liver disease symptoms include diarrhea, light-colored stool, and dark urine.

Step 5: Feel the itch
Feel the itch — liver disease can give you an itchy sensation that cannot be relieved.

Step 6: Know the pain
Know what type of abdominal pain occurs with liver disease. Pain is typically in the upper right part of the stomach.

Tip
Pay attention to muscle aches and pains as well, as these can also be a symptom.

Step 7: Look for behavioral changes
Look for changes in behavior, including depression, a loss of sex drive, fatigue, and a vague feeling of illness known as malaise.

Step 8: Get tested
See your doctor and get a liver function test. If you have liver disease, your test will come back as abnormal. Talk with your doctor about the steps you need to take for treatment.

Did You Know?
The liver is the largest organ inside the human body.

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