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17 Indicators That Your Liver Isn’t Working Properly

In the human body, the liver’s role is to remove toxins from the body. However, if you’re dealing with impaired liver function, this may mean you need to do a self-chosen liver detox program or even get medical attention to restore your health. Keep reading to learn some of the numerous signs that your liver isn’t working as it should.

1. Your Breath Smells Bad

There are many causes of bad breath, and some are particularly related to the things you eat. However, if you notice your breath often smells like rotten fish or onions, no matter what you eat, that means your liver may not be removing the ammonia that builds up in the body.

2. Severe Or Persistent Digestion Problems

One type of liver disorder is called fatty liver. As the name suggests, it happens when there is a fatty layer on the liver’s surface. If you have a fatty liver, or your liver has become enlarged, you’ll even have trouble digesting water. However, even if your digestive problems are not that severe, but they occur over a long period of time, it’s a good idea to get a doctor’s advice.

3. Pain Near The Rib-Cage

Pain is often the body’s way of telling us something is wrong, and that can hold true when it comes to liver malfunctions, too. Specifically, if you notice discomfort stemming from the right side of your body and under your rib-cage, that pain may be due to a malfunctioning liver.

4. Your Stools Look Very Greasy Or Shiny

Many people understandably don’t look at the waste they produce that goes into the toilet, but if you’re concerned about your liver’s function, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at your stools. If they have a greasy or shiny look, that appearance could indicate your liver function is impaired.

5. You’re Badly Affected By Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can cause you to develop three liver problems: Fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Although it’s unlikely you’d develop problems by drinking responsibly and consuming appropriate amounts for your gender, there are a couple of warning signs that could mean your liver isn’t processing alcohol appropriately.

Firstly, if you get very drunk, especially while drinking wine, that could be suspicious. Furthermore, if you find you’re very hung over after a normal night of drinking, that’s also cause for concern.

6. Sensitivity To Everyday Chemicals

If you find you’re bothered by common chemicals like household cleaners and perfumes, that sensitivity could be caused by a malfunctioning liver. Keep in mind, though, that you may just be extremely sensitive to a certain smell that’s too strong for your body to generally handle.

If you notice that you’re gradually more sensitive to smells over time that used to not bother you, be aware that the cause might be associated with your liver.

7. White Patches On The Skin

Skin discoloration can be brought on by liver problems. Specifically, if you have white, patchy spots on the skin, your liver may not be working well. In fact, these discolored areas are known as liver spots.

8. Dark Under-Eye Circles

If you often have dark circles under your eyes, they could be caused by liver problems. In general, the skin under your eyes can be a general indicator of health, because it’s very sensitive. However, be aware that these kinds of dark circles can appear if you haven’t been getting enough rest, so if you have this symptom, it’s not a definite sign that your liver’s not working correctly.

9. Your Urine Is A Dark Color

Dark-colored urine can be a sign of dehydration, but if you notice your urine is frequently too dark, that could signal liver damage. In the same way it was recommended above that you keep an eye on the appearance of your stools, it’s also smart to be aware of how your urine usually looks.

10. A Bitter Taste In Your Mouth

If you experience a bitter taste in your mouth that most often occurs after eating, be aware that your liver may not be functioning properly. If your mouth also feels sticky, that’s another reason to be concerned.

11. Redness On Your Nose

It’s common for alcoholics to have a red nose that’s caused by liver damage, but you don’t necessarily have to be an excessive alcohol drinker to have this symptom. The redness occurs due to a problem with flow from the bile duct.

12. Frequently Feeling Nauseous

People with liver issues often experience nausea, which comes about when bile rises up in the body. Sometimes, these individuals will think the nausea is related to heart trouble, when it’s actually linked to the liver.

13. Yellowed Eyes And Nail Beds

When the white parts of your eyes, plus your nail beds, take on a yellowish tint, this may mean you have jaundice, a condition that comes when the liver is infected. This is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention. Specifically, jaundice happens if there is an abnormally high secretion of a substance called bilirubin, or another disruption in a person’s normal metabolism.

14. A Swollen Abdomen

A swollen abdomen is an unsightly and uncomfortable sign of a potential liver problem. When the liver becomes enlarged, it could cause the abdomen to swell as a result. The area around the belly button is particularly prone to becoming swollen.

15. Headaches And Mental Fatigue

It may seem strange to consider a headache or mental tiredness being linked with liver issues, but both are possible. That’s because liver problems can cause constipation initially and then cause the associated toxins to build up in the body, eventually making a person have an aching head or feel mentally tired.

16. Unusual Sleeping Patterns

When the liver is not functioning properly, people can experience weird sleep schedules. For example, their sleep may be especially disrupted in the early morning hours. Also, if you have a strong desire to sleep immediately after meals, this could also be a sign of a liver problem.

17. Frequent Urination

If you need to urinate more frequently at night than during the day, your liver function may be impaired. Furthermore, if you’re generally urinating more often than what seems normal, that’s also a bad sign that might indicate the kidneys are not being properly stimulated via normal operation of the liver.

Pin ItIf you have one or more of these symptoms, you may want to consider doing a liver detoxification program. In addition to that, think carefully about seeing a medical professional about these issues.

If your liver’s function level is lower than it should be, your way of life could be significantly adversely impacted. However, the sooner you get a diagnosis, the more quickly you can begin treatment. Consider making an appointment for a check-up and then letting the doctor know you’re especially concerned about a possible liver issue.

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Katherine Hurst
By Shauna Walker
Personal trainer, fitness coach and wellness expert for over twenty years. Shauna is able to connect personally with her clients because I faced my own wellness challenges at a young age. She started her personal journey towards feeling fit and healthy twenty years ago, and has never looked back. Once struggling with her weight, she also had confidence issues and found it hard to stick with diet and exercise. Shauna managed to break free of this struggle, and now wants to give back and share the lessons she has learned.

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