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Symptoms Of Liver Damage

Liver disease is serious and requires treatment and regular monitoring by a liver specialist.

A liver specialist is known as a hepatologist and you need to be referred by your family doctor or general practitioner. Over nearly 40 years of practicing medicine I have seen many patients develop severe liver disease, which sadly could have been prevented by early detection and early referral to a hepatologist. There needs to be more awareness of liver disease so that patients can be treated early so that we can prevent cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Make sure you have your liver function checked annually with a blood test.

I have presented my ideas on how to help those with liver diseases using nutritional medicine, which I have been using for many years with good success rates. However my recommendations do not replace the care of your own doctor and you should remain under the care of your own doctor whilst using nutritional therapies.

If you have any questions you may contact my naturopaths on 623 3343232 or email us at contact@liverdoctor.com

progression of liver damage

Symptoms of Liver Damage

Abnormal Metabolism of Fats

  • Abnormalities in the level of fats in the blood stream.  For example; elevated LDL cholesterol and reduced HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides.
  • Arteries blocked with fat, leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Build up of fat in other body organs (fatty degeneration of organs).
  • Lumps of fat in the skin (lipomas and other fatty tumors).
  • Excessive weight gain, which may lead to obesity.
  • Inability to lose weight even while dieting.
  • Sluggish metabolism.
  • Protuberant abdomen (pot belly).
  • Cellulite.
  • Fatty liver.
  • Roll of fat around the upper abdomen – (liver roll).

Digestive Problems

  • Indigestion.
  • Reflux.
  • Haemorrhoids.
  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease.
  • Intolerance to fatty foods.
  • Intolerance to alcohol.
  • Nausea and vomiting attacks.
  • Abdominal bloating.
  • Constipation.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Pain over the liver – (upper right corner of abdomen & lower right rib cage).

Blood Sugar Problems

  • Craving for sugar.
  • Hypoglycaemia and unstable blood sugar levels.
  • Mature onset diabetes (Type 2) is common in those with a fatty liver.

Nervous System

  • Depression.
  • Mood changes such as anger and irritability.
  • Metaphysically the liver is known as the “seat of anger”.
  • Poor concentration and “foggy brain”.
  • Overheating of the body, especially the face and torso.
  • Recurrent headaches (including migraine) associated with nausea.

Immune Dysfunction

  • Allergies – sinusitis, hay fever, asthma, dermatitis, hives, etc.
  • Multiple food and chemical sensitivities.
  • Skin rashes and inflammations.
  • Increased risk of autoimmune diseases.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Increase in recurrent viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.

External Signs

  • Coated tongue.
  • Bad breath.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Itchy skin (pruritus).
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Offensive body odour.
  • Dark circles under the eyes.
  • Yellow discoloration of the eyes.
  • Red, swollen, itchy eyes (allergic eyes).
  • Acne rosacea – (red pimples around the nose, cheeks and chin).
  • Brownish spots and blemishes on the skin (liver spots).
  • Red palms and soles which may also be itchy and inflamed.
  • Flushed facial appearance or excessive facial blood vessels (capillaries/ veins).

Hormonal Imbalance

  • Intolerance to hormone replacement therapy or the contraceptive pill (eg. side effects)
  • Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes may be more severe.
  • Premenstrual syndrome may be more severe.

NOTE:

All of the above symptoms are common manifestations of a dysfunctional liver. However, they can also be due to other causes, of a more sinister nature, so, in all cases of persistent symptoms it is vital to see your doctor.

42 comments

  1. Agness c mulenga

    my mother has got a liver problem, she experiences joint pains and getting swollen on the face. please advise Doc.

  2. Hi, My Father has Liver Cirrhosis, and doc said there is no medicine for this, Is it True? and also they said he should not drink lots of water. Per day he can drink including everything like juice, water and other 2 ltr per day. He is having Jaundice and if he drinks lots of water then his urine would be slight yellow. Please suggest us not to drink water too much?

  3. I was in the hospital recently because I was vomiting blood. The found a bleeding ulcer and “a few small varices” on my esophagus. The GI specialist were very informative but the liver specialist were vague. I had prob 15 blood samples taken, do not know the results of them and the LS I talked to the day I was released almost ordered them again so I don’t think he had read much in my chart. He told me to lose weight, eliminate fatty foods and alcohol and that I may live another 10 years. Is this a normal thing to say to a patient? I am not sure if he wanted to put the fear of God in me but I have followed the instruction…lost weight…and have an appointment coming up that I have a lot of anxiety over. I don’t feel like I am going to die. I have no idea if I have chirosis even. I must if he made that statement though. I just am not sure if I need to seek out a different group of liver specialists.

  4. Margaret, I have all the above symptoms and it seems to be getting worse. I scheduled an appointment for 1 week from today. If it gets worse I will go to the er. Just looking for any advise on how deadly it is if I put off or if there is any way to wait it out with taking things like milk thistle and other things that help the liver. I used to drink everyday and have since stopped as I cannot handle it anymore. Thanks for your time

    • One extra week probably won’t make much difference, but as you said, if you feel worse please head straight to a doctor.
      Feel free to write again once you have obtained a diagnosis on the current state of your liver.

  5. Hello,
    I just have a few questions and my doc refuses to answer them so here it goes.
    I am 30 and just start to have bad pain on my right side below my rib cage and when I lay down I feel like there is something there, I also looked at all the systems and I have 11 out of all of them…I guess my question is how do I go about getting my doc to understand what I am saying

    • Thank you for your comment. At the very least, your doctor should order a liver function test for you. It’s a simple blood test but it’s a good start.
      It’s important to get a diagnosis, but you can start to follow the recommendations on our website in order to help yourself.

  6. Hello, can I have several symptoms – liver spots, nausea, spots on the right side of tongue, abdominal pain (also I have IBS and histamine intolerance) and flushing feeling all over the body? I am taking warfarin for 5 years and have always higher bilirubin than normal (even my doctors dont know why)

    • Yes they are all possible symptoms of a liver problem. It’s important to try and resolve your digestive problems, as digestive dysfunction can contribute to a liver problem.

      • That makes sense. But I discontinue to take Warfarin (my tongue healed in 2-3 days) – I take now Clexane, I started to treat IBS with probiotics and histamine intolerance with the diet. After 2 weeks spots on my tongue started to appear and getting bigger. What do I do wrong? I eat healthy, drink water, taking B-vitamins, C-vit., probiotics, Magnesium and it doesnt help clearly with the liver. How can I control my bilirubin levels? Thank you.

        • Sometimes elevated bilirubin is caused by Gilbert’s syndrome. Ask your doctor for a test for that.
          An appropriate diet for you would be one that excludes grains, dairy products and sugar. You may have additional food sensitivities.

          • I did make test for Gilberts, its negative. I do have mechanical aortal valve (thats why I am on anticoagulants), so my doctors though it could be because of that. In fact I am eating grains and sugar, since I am on low histamine diet that is what I can eat. So the food can make a difference in bilirubin levels? I just knew that I need to avoid alcohol, dairy products and drink a lot of water, but thats it. Thank you.

  7. Is a bottle of scotch a day likely too cause me problems? I’m 33 been drinking that since I was 18

  8. Hello I’m a 27 year old female social drinker but then not really. I’ve been told that I have an early onset of cirrhosis but all my test for hepatitis and some other test come back normal and negative. I’m extremely anemic I have the sickle cell trait, I’ve had mono in previous years. I’ve had my gallbladder removed in 2013. What could be the cause of my liver? My dad just passed away from complications of cardiac amyloidosis. Could I have liver amyloidosis? What’s wrong with me? I’m only 27

    • Your doctor could give you a test for amyloidosis.
      What did your doctor say is causing the cirrhosis? It could be the alcohol, or it could be autoimmune disease. Your doctor can test you for that.

      • We’re in the process of testing so far the hepatitis test are all negative the muscular test? Enzyme and all are normal. She said it couldn’t be the alcohol couldn’t be it not if I have a couple drinks evert 6 months to a year ( can’t stand the taste of alcohol btw) I hope it’s not amyloidosis that dieases made my father so miserable. What kind of auto immune disorders are there?

  9. Hello, I have a question…I quit drinking alcohol exactly 1 month ago today!! About the 10th day mark I developed very red blotchy inflamed palms on my hands, 2 days ago on the 4th of July I had to be with family, and did not want the grandchildren to ask me what was wrong with my hands, and since all research I had done was pointed to Cirrhosis, I decided to take ALEVE (even though I read of bleeding risks) 500mg. of ALEVE took the redness and inflammation away in just a couple hours,it has been over 48 hours and my hands still look normal, I can see some blotchy red dots if I look really close, but I am able to wear all my rings again! I feel fine and that is really the only symptom I had. (the first week my liver felt sore when I would lie on my right side) Seems everything has cleared up and see no reason to go to a doctor now!! My question is if ALEVE can remove inflammation and redness, why is it that doctors do not know of this cure?…do you thinks it could have been an accumulation of toxins in my hands? By the way I am 55 y.o. female, and normal weight and height….THANKS

    • Congratulations on stopping drinking.
      Aleve is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, so it can reduce redness and swelling.
      It would be a good idea to see your doctor and have a liver function test to check on the health of your liver.

  10. Hi
    I’ve been a hard drinker, for 40 years….for days sometime. The craving gets to me. But, the sweats on my face and body…it wipes me out. No, energy, sleep terrible, cry a lot. I know I’ve got to quit this…or it will kill me. Could it be my pancreous too? Sorry for the spelling..
    Need help…

    Very tired
    Pat

  11. I have seen 3 gastro doctors and they all tell me the same thing. I have first stage of non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis. When I ask them what kind of diet I need or what can I do to help my liver, they have all told me that I can eat anything I want. No medication or anything to help me. I have been taking milk thistle and it seems to help, but now I am taking Dr. Cabots Livatone Plus. I am going for some lab work this morning. I did have a sonogram on Thursday, but the girl pressed down my right side so hard that I was in pain for days. Is this normal because the last sonogram I had was not as painful. Will wait for results.

    • Yes a sonogram can be painful for someone with a fatty liver or cirrhosis.
      A diet to help your liver would exclude sugar, gluten, alcohol and dairy products. The diet in Dr Cabot’s book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It is appropriate for you, since many people with a fatty liver go on to develop cirrhosis.

  12. Great information; i’m taking notes.

  13. Hello, I show many of the signs of liver disease but have never smoked and don’t drink alcohol. I don’t take prescription or over-the-counter medicines either, am not overweight and don’t eat a lot of fat. My most noticeable symptoms are foggy brain and very poor memory, pain and discomfort on my right side, big brown spots on my face, flushed cheeks and cramping in my feet. Could gluten be causing all this?

    • Yes it’s possible gluten can be causing these symptoms. You may have other food sensitivities too.
      Your symptoms indicate you probably have a leaky gut and magnesium deficiency.

  14. Found out this past year that my liver is damaged. I am having terrible headaches at least twice a week and feel like I’m just harming myself further with all the OTC meds I’m taking to treat them! Any ideas on what I can do to help my headaches while not harming my liver any further?? Thank u!!

  15. what a sobering look at my life. I have had a problem with insomnia for the past 5 years. The doctors that I have seen have been utterly useless and the medications that I have tried are even worse. I have tried soooooooooo many things but the only thing that I have found that works is tylenol pm. Of course my body has built a tolerance to it and I would even dare say that I have somehow become addicted to it in a way. Every night I take 6 at a time, multiple times until bed. It has been this way for many years. I was just online looking up excessive sweating and sensitivity to heat. This article has pretty much nailed it to a T. The only questions are… is it irreversible? and how the hell do I kick this habit and find sleep?

    • Beth you need to ask your doctor for a blood test and an ultrasound to check the health of your liver. We won’t know if it’s reversible unless we know the specific state of your liver at the moment.
      Melatonin, magnesium, meditation, yoga, massage and counselling may all help to reduce the severity of insomnia.

  16. I have had elevated ALT and SALT and now I have theses rashes which I must say is scary. I was told after an ultrasound that my liver is fine. I now have a high S Globulin, low Mcv, a high RDW and a low neutrophils. I don’t understand if it’s liver or not but I sure do not feel well.

  17. What a great article, I have suffered from many of the symptoms mentioned for too long. I don’t get much help from Drs so I’ve had to do a lot of research myself. Infact I have so many of the symptoms I’m starting to worry just how bad my liver is as I’ve often read that symptoms only occur when damaged is advanced. I’ve completely stopped drinking and eating and juicing lots of good veg and food. I suppose all I can do is wait and see if the symptoms subside. I’m scarred.

    • HI Bronwyn, You can get an ultra sound to view if there is any fatty infiltration, that will give you an idea of where you are at with your Liver Health. However its best to start living a lifestyle of health and live a predominantly “naturopathic” lifestyle.. following the protocol in the book titled “Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It” will be your best guide. Eating no sugar and grains. Going off all alcohol and Starting your day on warm filtered lemon water. Waiting 30 mins before you have a green juice… start your day that way every day- if you dont have time to juice every day, then you must find the time to drink the water every day. The basics of supplementation id recommend you start with is Liva Tone Plus 1 x twice weekly for one week, then increase to 2 x twice weekly ongoing.

      You will be feeling much better with just these few minor changes, then once you get the book and see all the tips recipes and health protocol you are to follow you will be able to make major improvements to your health.

      Thanks for contacting us- glad you find the site informative.

      All the best in health

  18. Morning, After reading the article above it made sense to me why I feel how I feel and why every other blood tests show a problem with my liver function. I have fibromyalgia but trying to get my Dr to do further tests in connection with my liver function is hard work I also have a lof of the other symptons. I had my gallbladder removed because of gallstones but I am still getting the pain in and around the same area and round my back. Any tips as to how to get my GP to investigate further. Many thanks Wendy

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thankyou for contacting us.
      Yes- it is very common to continue to get those Gallbladder pains- even after having it removed. It will probably do you well to read one of the Docs latest books titled “How to save your gallbladder Naturally- and what to do if you have already lost it” You will need to stick to the protocol within that book. Did you get an abdominal Ultra sound and HIDA scan done to see if your bile is sludgy. To be honest you may not even need to get the tests done- just live a life full of Apple Cider Vinegar, use the Docs digestive enzymes, Liva Tone Plus- and follow the life style in that book. You will be feeling a lot better in no time. 1 x tsp of Collagen powder daily will also assist. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on Wendy. Email me at kyliem@cabothealth.com.au All the best in health Wendy Kylie McCarthy Nutritionist

  19. HI Dr Love, thank-you for your email, i am sure that we will be able to help you a lot.
    Please re-email me at kyliem@cabothealth.com.au
    :)

  20. Thanx for this info. Ive had HCV since 84. There isnt time for me to explain my lack of insurance or medical help Ive received but please know I have gotten more help from the info online then anywhere else. That said please tell me if what I think is happening to my body sounds likely:
    I have to take alot of psyche meds for my bipolar. That floods my sick liver with an overload, so the toxins my liver cant handle are put through my kidneys. My kidneys panic and react like Im poisoned and hang onto every bit of water. This is why I blow up with water and cant really pee until the meds are diluted. Also because my liver is not processing sugar into glucose, my body doesnt have enough glucose in my bloodstream to give me energy. This is why Im exhausted and have an insatiable crave for sugar. Eating mass quantities of sugar floods my liver with toxins blowing up veins all over my legs because the veins in my liver are overloaded.
    Thoughts?

    • I came here to find info for my husband’s ailments but this post about bi-polar medication has hit a nerve. My psychiatrist knows that I’m not comfortable with taking medication, but is working with me to provide the best quality of life on the least amt of meds. I’m starting to come to terms, that I may need to always take medication, and I’m worried about what it is doing to me. The whole point of taking care of myself is so I can live an ongoing healthy life. I’ve been suicidal many times, but I need to keep going for my kids- I don’t want to jeopardize my health for treatment- where is the balance?

      • Hi Dawn,

        Well thank you for sharing yourself with us. Some times it is a necessary truth that we need to take prescription medication to balance ourselves on various levels. It seems you are under the guidance of a good psychiatrist, so the best advice i can offer you is to support your liver. Your liver will be processing and eliminating all of the toxins out of your body- and this now includes pharma meds. Please ensure you take Liva Tone Plus. Start with 1 x twice daily, then after a month, increase to 2 x twice daily on going. Id also recommend cutting out Gluten from your diet and including plenty of Raw Juices- GREEN juices. A clean and green diet DOES change your mind set. a TOTAL elimination of gluten containing products and strong Omega 3 oils will also assist. If you have any further questions, please contact Kylie at kyliem@cabothealth.com.au

        • Hi Dawn. Please consider going gluten free for 3 months trial. Many of your symptoms will lessen and you will realize gluten is hurting your whole body. This difference in me after -18 months, is phenomenal. Changed my 6 yr old dog too and he’s a puppy again. No wheat, oats, barley. Corn or rice. Change to almond milk. No A, B, C’s. Ale, bread, cereal products. Not going to wish you good luck because I know what’s going to happen.

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