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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Liver diseases: Early signs that are usually ignored, prevention tips


( Consultant Gastroenterologist, Hepatologist & Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad)

Early Signs of Liver Disease Often Overlooked:

The liver performs over 500 vital functions, yet liver problems rarely cause symptoms until the damage becomes severe. As a result, many people miss early warning signs that could prompt earlier treatment and prevention of serious liver disease.

Common Early Signs:

Some early signs of liver issues seem harmless or get blamed on other causes. These overlooked symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort or mild pain

Additional Subtle Hints:

A few other subtle signs may indicate emerging liver problems:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Yellowish skin or eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Small red spider veins under the skin

People often assume symptoms like these result from stress, aging, or other health conditions. However, bringing them to a doctor’s attention can reveal liver problems in earlier, more treatable stages.

Tips to Help Prevent Liver Disease

Many types of liver disease stem from controllable lifestyle factors. Making a few key changes can lower your risk:

Avoid toxins – Limit alcohol and unnecessary medications that tax the liver.

Eat healthy – Focus on a nutrient-dense, low-fat, high-fiber diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Get vaccinated – Immunizations for hepatitis A and B can prevent these common viral infections that harm the liver.

Practice safe sex – Using condoms reduces exposures to STDs like hepatitis B and C that inflame liver tissue.

Paying attention to early symptoms and making prevention a priority offers the best chance of protecting your liver over the long term.

Reaching out promptly to a doctor whenever potential issues arise can help safeguard your liver health.

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