External Signs Of Liver Problems
Did you know that you can tell how healthy a person’s liver is just by looking at them? Your liver does so many vitally important functions in your body and when it is not healthy, this creates several outward signs. Your liver burns fat and it regulates your metabolism, but your liver also cleanses and purifies your bloodstream. If your liver is sluggish, toxins will accumulate inside your body and this will affect the way you look.
Some outward signs of poor liver function include:
- Lumps of fat in the skin, particularly on the eyelids. This is also often an indicator of high cholesterol in the bloodstream.
- Itchy skin. Your liver produces bile in order to help you digest fat, and also excrete wastes from your body. If liver cells become damaged, bile can leak into the bloodstream. This can cause the skin to become extremely itchy.
- Red cheeks
- Carrying excess weight on the upper part of the abdomen. This is a likely indicator of fatty liver.
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes. This is referred to as jaundice and means that bile is leaking from the liver into the bloodstream.
- Coated tongue. This usually indicates there is an overgrowth of the wrong bacteria and/or yeast in the digestive system. These bad bugs can cause a leaky gut and greatly increase the toxic load arriving at the liver. It may indicate small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
- Bad breath
- Excessive sweating. The liver is the main heat generating organ in your body. If it is struggling, you may feel heat intolerant.
- Red, swollen, itchy (allergic) eyes
- Red palms
- Acne rosacea
- Brownish spots and blemishes on the skin
- Dilated facial blood vessels (red capillaries)
A lot of our patients aren’t too worried about the health of their liver, but they are concerned about their appearance. You don’t need to have a specific liver disease in order to have a dysfunctional liver. Many people only associate alcohol with liver dysfunction and believe if they don’t drink much, there should be nothing wrong with their liver. Nothing could be further from the truth! Modern life and its associated exposure to stress, environmental chemicals, processed foods and medication means that everybody’s liver is under constant stress.
If you have several signs of liver dysfunction and you want to do something about it, I recommend the following:
- Go to your doctor and ask for a blood test called a liver function test. This is a good starting point for finding out how healthy your liver is. Please remember though that this test is not particularly sensitive; it will only tell you if you have actual damage to your liver cells.
- Follow the eating principles in my book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. The eating plan in this book is suitable for everyone concerned about their liver health, not just those with a fatty liver.
- Take a good quality liver tonic like Livatone Plus. This will help your liver to detoxify your bloodstream and cope with environmental toxins more effectively.
- Take a selenium supplement. Glutathione is your body’s most powerful detoxifier and you require selenium in order to manufacture it. Selenium deficiency is extremely common as it is difficult to get enough of this precious mineral through diet alone. N-acetyl cysteine is the precursor of glutathione and can also be taken in supplement form.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.