Symptoms of Liver Disease

Symptoms of Liver Disease
Symptoms of Liver Disease

Symptoms of liver disease can be difficult to detect, often people do not know they have a liver problem unless something is diagnosed during tests for another reason.

It is difficult to detect liver disease early on. According to a recent study, between 6% and 7% of the world’s population has liver fibrosis and does not know it because they have no symptoms of discomfort. 

Each body functions differently, so the speed at which liver disease develops is different for each person. At the same time, our genetics also play a role. 

It should be noted that the lifestyle we lead is a crucial point to take into account. Do we have a healthy diet? Do we drink alcoholic beverages in excess? Are we aware of the amount of medications we take? These are questions we should ask ourselves if we want to take care of our liver.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms begin to appear as the liver becomes more irritated and inflamed. The first stage of liver disease is fibrosis, which is the term used to describe mild scarring in the liver and occurs when the liver becomes repeatedly or continuously damaged or inflamed. It is a condition that can be reversed if caught in the early stages and steps are taken to prevent further damage.

If signs and symptoms of liver disease are present, they may include the following:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles.
  • itchy skin
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Pale stool color.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily.

It is advisable to consult a professional when any of the above symptoms appear in order to treat the disease in time if it is the case. Seek immediate medical attention if you have abdominal pain so severe that you cannot keep still.

Causes of liver disease

Liver failure can result from any type of liver disorder, such as viral hepatitis (mainly hepatitis B or C), cirrhosis, and liver damage caused by alcohol or drugs such as acetaminophen.

For liver failure to occur, a large part of the liver must be damaged. In addition, it can develop rapidly, over days or weeks (acute) or gradually over months or years (chronic).

Oriana Arenas, redacción

Pasante de contenidos Fundahígado América

Eugenia Jiménez Alvaréz, revisión

Asistente a la coordinación Fundahígado América

Licenciada en Ciencias Biomédicas

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Génesis is 3 years old and was born in Costa Rica with a congenital liver disease.


Elías is a young adolescent with an advanced liver disease.


Jin received a segment of his father´s liver in May 2015.