Signs and Symptoms That You Might Be Suffering from Liver Disease

Drug Abuse

One of the vital organs of your body, the liver is rubbery and a reddish-brown color and located on the right-hand side of your abdomen. It is the largest internal organ, weighing around three pounds, and is divided into two sections known as the left and the right lobes. Its blood supply is delivered from two sources: from your heart through the hepatic artery, and from your gastrointestinal tract through the portal vein.

The liver has many functions, but the main one is filtering the blood from your digestive tract before it travels to the rest of your body. It also produces plasma proteins called coagulation factors, which promote the formation of blood clots. It metabolizes toxins, which include drugs, chemicals, and natural substances. Your liver also secretes bile that plays a role in digesting the food that you eat.

One remarkable thing about the liver is that has the ability to regenerate itself after it is damaged by replacing these tissues with new cells. It does have its limits, though. Too much injury may result in liver disease and damage it to the point that it could no longer repair itself. In such cases, a liver transplant would be needed.

Since your liver is such a large organ, it usually takes damage to a significant portion before its function is affected and signs of liver disease appear. Symptoms differ depending on the type of disease, which includes hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, ascites, gallstones, hemochromatosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis.

Take a look at the different liver conditions and the signs and symptoms associated with them.