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Liver Disease Symptoms List

Liver disease symptoms can be very subtle and/or very obtuse. This is a partial list. If you suspect that you may have liver disease please see a qualified health care physician.

Liver Disease Symptom 1 – Jaundice

Be it a disease of the gall bladder or liver itself, jaundice is one of the main symptoms of liver disease. If the skin becomes jaundiced, then we know that there is most likely an issue with the Liver or Gall Bladder. Jaundice can either turn the skin yellow or orange depending on the type. With this, the whites of the eyes often take on a yellow color as well. Jaundice is the result of the liver not properly breaking down old blood and transforming it into bile. When Jaundice is quick to set in and is accompanied by flu like symptoms, it is important to be seen by a medical doctor to identify if the jaundice is being caused by acute hepatitis or severe infection in the gall bladder. For more information about hepatitis symptoms, visit our hepatitis symptoms list.

According to Traditional Oriental Medicine, there are two types of Jaundice, Yin Jaundice and Yang Jaundice:

  1. Yang Jaundice: Whole-Body jaundice with color that resembles a ?fresh tangerine,? slight abdominal distention, constipation, possible palpitations, urinary difficulty, thirst (with the ability to take only sips), and a yellow-greasy tongue coating. This type of jaundice in Oriental Medicine is from what is described as excess damp heat.
  2. Yin Jaundice: Dull yellow or gray coloration of face, eyes, and skin, heavy sensation of the body, low or no fever, lassitude, poor appetite, nausea, chest oppression, abdominal distention, hypochondriac pain, loose stools, cold limbs, clear urine, possible edema, possible, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Liver Disease Symptom 2 – Digestion and Appetite

Poor appetite is one of the most common symptoms of liver disease. The poor appetite that occurs in liver disease eventually leads to loss of weight. Improper metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins may complicate the situation.

Anemia is a more advanced result of improper nutrition from a poor appetite, along with disease in the hepatocytes (liver cells). On top of this, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea can also occur. Sometimes blood is present in the vomitus, especially if a gastric ulcer is present. The increased rate of ulcers comes from a complex interaction of histamine, nitrogen, bile acids, gastrin, portal hypertension, and an altered mucous membrane lining of the stomach.

Liver Disease Symptom 3 – Light Colored Stool

If the biliary duct is prevented from secreting normal bile pigments into the intestine due to either a lack of bile production or duct blockage, the stool will lack pigmentation and appear lighter in color. Irritable bowels and irregular bowel movements may also be present. If the stools become a light color, it is a clear sign of either liver disease or gall bladder disease. The natural dark color of stools comes almost exclusively from the bile. Light colored stools are a clear sign that either not enough bile is being produced or secreted, or it is not making its way to the intestines due to blockage of the bile duct from stones, scarring, or inflammation. Other descriptions of light colored stools include gray stools and pale stools.

Liver Disease Symptom 4 – Distention and Bloating

A distended abdomen under the right lower ribs may be due to ascites or hepatomegaly. If the distention is severe enough breathing might be labored from pain or the pressure on the diaphragm.

Liver Disease Symptom 5 – Polyuria and Polydypsia

Polyuria/polydypsia (PU/PD) - This is excess thirst and excess urination. This can occur in liver disease, although several other important diseases cause these symptoms as well.

Liver Disease Symptoms – An Alternative View

Other signs and symptoms that suggest Liver disharmony from an oriental medical perspective include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Skin problems and disorders
  3. Allergies
  4. Dizziness
  5. Tinnitus
  6. Tremors, Spasms, Ticks
  7. Seizures
  8. Strokes
  9. Red, itchy eyes
  10. Irritability, easy to anger
  11. Hypochondriac pain and mid back tension
  12. Tight, inflexible tendons and ligaments
  13. Depression and mood swings

If you are looking for more information on liver disease symptoms from an alternative medical perspecive, please read our article “Understanding Hepatitis C Through the Eyes of Oriental Medicine” article. For more information about hepatitis symptoms, visit our hepatitis symptoms list.

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This information has not been reviewed by the FDA, and as such should not be taken as medical advice or medical fact. We request that all practitioners refer to their clinical training and experience when evaluating the true effectiveness and use of these herbs with their patients. (The organs listed in our literature, such as Liver, refer to the common Traditional Oriental Medical functional groups, and may not directly relate to the anatomical counterpart or commonly known functions at all times.) When in doubt, please refer to such texts as the Herbal PDR and peer reviewed journals for the most recent list of clinical studies as well as side affects and contra-indications. We ask that practitioners please read all the provided information in order to best acquaint themselves with all the uses and indications for this product.

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