Posted by Minnie Mahendru on January 22, 2013
Having a tough time digesting? Get the liver function tests done.

Reasons for malfunctioning of the liver

The liver may be compromised due to hereditary reasons, the effect of some viruses, or exposure to some chemicals. The complications faced by the liver may be temporary or long term with serious complications.

The symptoms of a liver malfunctioning

The most commonly observed symptoms that the liver is sluggish in its functions are nausea, pain in right upper quadrant of abdomen, or a yellowish discoloration of the skin called jaundice. This yellow coloring is because of the raised bilirubin levels in the blood stream.

All these are accompanied by some general conditions like weight loss, fatigue and weakness. There are various liver diseases and the symptoms that show up are specific to different diseases. One can also get bilirubin levels tested to find out conditions like Gibert’s disease. Let us list some liver disease symptoms because of certain diseases:

Gall stones

A person having gallstones will suffer from nausea and vomiting after an oily meal and may also face upper abdominal pain in the right side of the body. If there is an infection of the gallbladder, a fever may set in.

Liver cirrohsis

In this case the liver is unable to metabolize body’s wastes, protein manufacture becomes erratic, blood clotting is affected, and brain functions (in severe cases) decrease. Even the secondary sex characters of the human body are affected negatively.

There is itching on the skin due to the accumulation of bile salts.

Men may develop a condition called gynecomastia as there is an imbalance in the hormones and secondary sex characters. This shows up as enlarged breasts in men.

The testicles in the men shrink and they are left with a poor sex drive leading to erectile dysfunction or impotence.

As the ammonia levels in the blood start to raise one tends to get confused and remain in a state of lethargy. There may also be an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity due to a fall in the production of proteins.

The muscle mass also reduces to the protein level falling.

The blood pressure in the portal vein increases and the flow of blood to the liver falls and the vessels carrying the blood swell up. These thin walled veins are capable of rupturing and are particularly evident around stomach and esophagus

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