Your liver plays an essential role in your whole-body health, from filtering toxins from your bloodstream to helping your body regulate its blood sugar levels. However, in many cases, people don’t recognize the signs their liver isn’t working well until a serious issue occurs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with liver disease, and countless others may be suffering from liver health issues without even realizing it.
If you want to ensure that this vital organ is working properly, read on to discover the signs of liver failure you can’t afford to ignore, according to experts. And if you want to improve your health in a hurry, start with The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
If you find yourself less hungry than usual, you may want to have your liver health checked.
“The liver plays a key role in the digestive system, and, when the liver isn’t working as well as it should be, it can cause digestive problems, leading to nausea and a disinterest in food,” says Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author at Fit Healthy Momma.
For more symptoms you can’t afford to ignore, check out The #1 Danger Sign You’re Developing Liver Disease, Says Science.
Having consistent gallbladder issues? Your liver health may be to blame.
“When the liver is chronically congested, sediment often settles out of the bile and accumulates in clumps that resemble stones or sand in the gallbladder. As a result, the gallbladder can become clogged as well,” says Carrie Lam, MD, FAAMFM, ABAARM.
Before you start popping supplements to help get your B12 levels up to snuff, you may want to ask your healthcare provider to do some tests on your liver first.
“A weak liver may also weaken the kidneys and contribute to digestive problems, including lowered vitamin B12 absorption,” says Lam.
Your complexion’s appearance may have more to do with your liver health than it does with your skincare routine.
“Dry, pale, and mottled skin with dark spots and pigmentation are signs of an underlying sluggish liver,” says Lam.
If you’re not feeling as cognitively fit as you once did, you may have something other than the aging process to blame.
Among individuals with reduced liver function, “Impaired cognitive ability and tremor can occur. In a severe case, accumulation of toxins can cause cerebral edema, or fluid gathering in the brain,” says general practitioner David Beatty, MRCGP, MBBS, DRCOG, who notes that excessive fluid surrounding the brain can lead to changes in its structure or function over time.
If you want to protect your liver, check out The Worst Foods for Your Liver, According to Science.