The liver is the second largest organ in the body and a serious multitasker. So, when the liver fails, it’s not surprising that the effects can be profound and detrimental to your daily life. Here is what you need to know about liver failure’s effects on your body and your workout.
What Is the Liver?
After the skin, the liver is the second largest organ in the body. Your liver is positioned to the right side of the upper abdomen and connects to various blood supply organs.
What Does the Liver Do?
The liver has many functions within the body. In fact, the liver is a major multitasker, so much so that it requires two possible supplies of blood; one for filtering and one for nutrients. The liver’s functions include filtering blood, producing bile, and even turning carbohydrates into fat, and vice versa.
What Is Liver Failure?
Liver failure often happens gradually over several years and is the final stage of various liver diseases. However, liver failure can also occur rapidly and can be difficult to detect, at least at first. Unfortunately, liver failure is a potentially life-threatening condition and requires immediate and urgent medical care. Cases when the liver fails quickly are referred to as acute liver failure.
While the liver is resilient and can even repair parts of itself, liver failure occurs when the liver’s damage becomes more significant than the liver’s ability for self-repair. On the other hand, chronic liver failure refers to damage that has built up over time.
How to Protect Your Liver
The best way to protect your liver from liver failure is by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes keeping a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, using the correct supplements, and detoxification, avoiding excesses such as drugs and alcohol.
A healthy diet is key to ensuring that your liver is healthy. After all, a well-balanced diet is a key to overall health, and with your liver doing so much for your body, your liver can only benefit from a diet that is high in nutrients and low in processed foods. The right supplements can also help provide the nutrients to support your liver's needs as well.
Exercising routines help your heart stay healthy, and while the liver has the capacity to filter toxins, it is still dependent on blood.
Avoid Excess Drugs and Alcohol
While occasional alcohol consumption can be acceptable, excessive alcohol consumption for an extended amount of time can cause damage to your liver. After all, your liver is responsible for filtering the toxins in your blood, and alcohol is a toxin. Likewise, excessive drug consumption can damage your liver.
Take Care With Pharmaceuticals
When taking medications, make sure to check whether or not they can potentially affect your liver and take those medications only as directed. Even with over-the-counter medications, there is still a risk of causing liver damage if you’re misusing these medications.
Remember, medications prescribed by, or recommended by your doctor, can be helpful. Just because the label says that medication may cause a liver issue does not mean that you should stop taking the medication against your doctor’s advice.
How Does Liver Disease Affect Your Body
Liver problems do not always show up with apparent signs and symptoms. However, there are a few ways that liver disease might affect you:
Because the liver is located in your upper abdomen, abdominal pain is a possible sign of liver failure. However, abdominal pain can also be a sign of other problems, so if you are experiencing abdominal pain, you should check in with your doctor to isolate the cause of the problem.
Swelling in the Legs
Swelling in the legs can be a sign of several conditions, including liver failure. If your legs are swelling on multiple occasions, there is definitely an underlying cause.
Itching can have many causes, such as bug bites, allergies, and other maladies. However, sometimes itchy skin in the absence of a bug bite can also mean that your liver is not functioning correctly.
Dark urine can be a sign of dehydration. However, consistently dark urine that happens even if you are not dehydrated can mean a problem with your liver.
Your poop can be a great diagnostic tool for doctors. While stool is a little bit gross, it can be a valuable indicator of your overall health. In general, long-term changes in your stool can be a problem- especially if your stool is pale.
While being tired after a long day, after a workout, or during a time when you are constantly feeling stressed is normal, feeling exhausted despite getting adequate rest can mean that you have a problem with your liver. Remember that ‘chronic’ by definition means long-term, so if you are tired after a difficult week or dealing with emotional issues, it is perfectly normal.
Nausea and Vomiting
Feeling nauseous and vomiting can be a sign of several conditions. For instance, you might be feeling sick from bad food or anxiety. However, if nausea and vomiting persist, and there is no sign of improvement, the cause might be a liver problem.
Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin and eyes, is one of the classic signs of liver problems. Jaundice is caused by an excess of bilirubin, which is typically broken up by the liver in the bloodstream. When the liver is damaged significantly, it cannot break up the bilirubin, resulting in a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Jaundice may be subtle or very obvious and is best diagnosed by your doctor.
Liver Failure and Your Workout
Because liver failure can affect your energy levels and cause pain and swelling, it can also derail your workout plans. After all, it’s harder to work out when you are tired and in pain. If you’re looking to work out while having trouble with your liver, you should speak to your doctor about a reasonable routine for your physical abilities.
- If you suspect that your liver is in trouble, see your doctor right away.
- Liver failure is a serious illness and can affect many parts of your life.
- There are many signs of liver failure, and while some are obvious, others may be more difficult to isolate