Fatigue from the liver. Tired liver is a fairly common explanation for people who are tired all the time. Although liver diseases cause fatigue, this happens in the advanced stages of the disease, in liver cirrhosis, or in acute hepatitis.
But most liver diseases are neither acute nor cirrhosis, and most liver patients have an average form of the disease without any symptoms. It is not rare that the liver patient is directly diagnosed with liver cirrhosis without having had any symptoms until then.
“Permanent inexplicable fatigue is rarely a symptom of the disease, being in most cases caused by stress, overwork, lack of rest, overwork, etc. Fatigue from liver diseases occurs when a good part of the liver is sick. It is due to the fact that the hepatic reserves of energy (glycogen), vitamins, iron, etc. and the hepatic detoxification function are not sufficient for normal activity. This fatigue is rather psychological, and has nothing to do with the effort,” explains Dr. Alecse Valerian Dițoiumedic gastroenterolog-hepatolog.
The doctor says that he meets people who declare that they are always drowsy. As a definition, excessive daytime sleepiness is the inability to stay awake and active during the day with involuntary sleepiness or sleep episodes occurring almost daily for at least 3 months.
The consequences of excessive daytime sleepiness can be:
- lack of energy
- decrease in memory capacity and concentration power
- various accidents (from objects falling out of hand to work or road accidents)
- decrease in physical or intellectual work performance
“There are also people who are sleepy only during the day. Unjustified, permanent daytime sleepiness can occur in the case of liver diseases and is due to a degree of intoxication of the body with non-metabolized liver products,” the doctor states.
It appears in advanced stages of liver disease, and may have other causes
- neurological (Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis)
- long-term infectious diseases such as Lyme disease, hypothyroidism
- diabetes mellitus
- chronic anemia of various causes
- chronic kidney disease
- mental illnesses (depression, dysthymia, anxiety, bipolar disease)
- administration of various medications
- sometimes even excessive night work with the shortening of rest periods necessary to restore the body can cause chronic fatigue
Decreased appetite in liver diseases occurs due to the inefficient participation of the liver in digestion processes. The sharp decrease in appetite can be associated with weight loss and anemia, and the lack of protein and carbohydrates in the diet can aggravate the disorders caused by the lack of protein synthesis and the lack of storage of carbohydrates in the liver.
Other symptoms in liver diseases
Liver patients can have – in addition to the above general symptoms – other symptoms, often appearing in advanced stages of the disease
- Jaundice. Patients usually confuse jaundice with acute hepatitis, which is usually a transmissible disease. Often this symptom is caused by other diseases – gallstones, tumors of the pancreas or liver, hemolysis, etc.) – see here. Jaundice from liver diseases is caused by the inability of the liver to capture, metabolize or eliminate the residues resulting from the degradation of hemoglobin.
- Orange colored urine. The orange coloring of the urine is due to the passage of a quantity of bilirubin from the liver into the blood and then into the kidneys for elimination. It should be known that the urine in the morning is normally colored darker than the others during the day
- The stools can be discolored, with a putty appearance, because the bilirubin is no longer eliminated through the faeces and therefore no longer colors them. Thus it is eliminated through urine or skin
- Itchy skin (pruritus) because bilirubin is eliminated through the skin
Bleeding at the level of the gums when brushing, because the liver no longer synthesizes the factors that contribute to blood coagulation
- Loss of chest hair (in men). It appears because the liver no longer metabolizes female hormones (which every man has). Their large amount gives some feminine characteristics to the respective man
- Decrease in sexual appetite or potency – through the same mechanism as above
Breast growth in men – through the same mechanism as before
- Enlargement of the abdomen due to the appearance of liquid (ascites), or gas bloating due to the incomplete digestion of food due to the lack of bile
- Swelling of the legs (edema)
- Symptoms of depression
- Redness of the palms
Some of these symptoms are specific to liver diseases, others may also appear in other diseases. That is why it is good that the evaluation of a patient with such symptoms is done by a doctor, who can orient himself from the beginning to the explorations necessary to establish a correct diagnosis.
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Source: DoctorulZilei by www.doctorulzilei.ro.
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