In Collaboration With Liver4life
Managing a liver condition on a day-to-day basis can be challenging. To handle a condition well often requires resilience, a stable and supportive environment as well as a level of understanding of the condition itself. The symptoms of each liver condition can vary and often depends on the severity of the damage to the liver. Symptoms can also fluctuate over the course of a week, and while you might feel extremely unwell on one day, you might feel better on the next.
Learning To Deal With Extreme Fatigue
Feeling extreme tiredness with liver disease is a common symptom. Many people with advanced liver disease feel very tired and have low energy levels. This can be due to your medical condition, external stresses or a combination of the two. Fatigue affects people differently and can come and go. One day you may feel able to live normally and the next you may have difficulty getting the energy and strength to do even the smallest tasks.
Planning your day and the week ahead is very important if you experience fatigue.
- Plan in time to rest during the day.
- Think about which things are the highest priorities for you and your family, and make sure these get done first.
- Be realistic about what you can do and dont try to do too much.
- Ask for help, not just from your family, but think about which tasks a friend or neighbour might be able to do for you.
- Explain to people that you need to be flexible, so that you can leave early from a party or social engagement.
Some people experience sleep problems. This can mean that you need to sleep during the day, or perhaps that you have difficulty sleeping through the night. Plan your day to suit your bodys needs, taking naps during the day if you need to.
The Liver And Its Functions
Blood passes through the liver at about 3 pints per minute, making the liver an extremely busy organ. In charge of a long list of life-sustaining functions, a few of the livers crucial duties, include:
- Producing bile, which helps carry away waste and breaks down fats in the small intestine during digestion.
- Producing certain proteins for blood plasma.
- Manufacturing sex hormone binding protein liver health is essential for a good sex drive. If the liver is compromised in such a way that it is producing too much of this protein, it can depress your sex drive.
- Making cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body.
- Regulating carbohydrate metabolism converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage.
- Storing vitamin A, vitamin D, many of the B vitamins, iron and copper.
- Converting poisonous ammonia to urea .
- Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances.
- Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.
If your liver is unhealthy, compromised or diseased, it could be working too hard for long periods of time, thus becoming overrun with toxins. The livers task of keeping your blood stream clean becomes difficult. In such cases, many different symptoms of poor health may occur, especially allergies, headaches and chronic fatigue.
You May Like: Does Eosinophilic Esophagitis Cause Fatigue
Alteration In The Hypothalamus
In first of these experiments bile duct resected rats entered fewer inner squares of an open field apparatus and produced fewer faecal boluses than the control rats. Placing a rat in an open field is a stressful stimulus for the animal and exploration of inner versus outer squares in an open field can be affected by a number of factors, specifically a defective release of central corticotrophin releasing hormone. Diminished faecal bolus production during stress is also consistent with diminished central corticotrophin releasing hormone release. The altered hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis response was further confirmed by finding a low rise in plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone on exposure to the stress of open space in bile duct resected rats. Thus, an abnormal pattern of behaviour and altered function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis coexist in rats with cholestasis, though a causal relationship between the two has not been established.
What Is A Ccg Or Ics
CCGs were established as part of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012. They are groups of general practices, which come together in each area to commission the best services for their patients and population.
ICS are new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. ICS will replace Clinical Commissioning Groups by April 2022 and cover a wider geographic area than CCGs.
Devolved nations health is primarily a devolved matter across the four nations which make up the UK. Among these variations are differing regional structures, Scotland and Wales have Health Boards, England have CCGs and Northern Ireland has Health and Social Care Trusts.
Recommended Reading: Extreme Fatigue And Night Sweats
Tips To Support Your Liver
Taking steps in your daily life to eat well and maintain a healthy weight can make all the difference. Simply losing weight can help to reduce fat, inflammation and scarring in your liver. Aerobic exercise improves the health of your liver, even if it doesnt lead to weight loss. Exercise and increasing your muscle mass also both help your body to use glucose more effectively.
Here are some tips to support your liver today:
- Replace trans fats and animal fats with olive, flax seed and avocado oils.
- Choose tofu, fish or lean fresh meat instead of fatty or processed meats.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, and high-fiber foods such as beans, legumes and whole grains.
- Limit drinks that are high on the glycemic index . Drink plenty of water instead.
- Swap out white rice, white bread and pasta for brown rice, quinoa or steamed greens. Swap out white potatoes for sweet potatoes.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the abnormalities associated with fatty liver disease, according to several clinical studies.
- Exercise daily, even if its just a brisk walk around your neighborhood.
- Do a cleanse at least twice per year. Environmental toxins place significant stress on the liver.
Management Of Fatigue In Practice
Significant challenges remain with regard to the management of fatigue in CLD in clinical practice. In particular, we lack evidence-based specific therapies with the result that the main approach to management in practice is supportive. Recent advances in understanding the mechanistic basis of fatigue in CLD outlined above have the potential to lead to specific therapies in the near future, although the evaluation of those in the clinical trial setting will be challenging.
Recommended Reading: Anti Fatigue Mat That Chair Can Roll On
More Than Just A Dirty Mouth
There are several medical conditions that can leave some patients with dodgy breath. Some types of diabetes can cause a sweet acetone odour, whilst kidney failure results in some people having fishy breath. It has been suggested that these odours are the result of volatile organic chemicals being released by the patients suffering the condition. So now, researchers are working to see if the VOCs in exhaled air could be used as a non-invasive method of helping a doctor diagnose diseases.
Liver disease is one disease that researchers are looking at to see if bad breath can help. The usual symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, chronic fatigue and abdominal pain, but researchers think there might be an odorous component too. It has been reported that patients with liver disease: may acquire a sweet, musty or slightly fecal aroma of the breath, termed fetor hepaticus, which has been mainly attributed to sulfur compounds. This is caused by metabolites – that are normally processed in the liver – increasing in the body and entering the circulation. Some of the compounds are then exhaled.
Fatigue And Liver Disease
Fatigue is the most common symptom of liver disease, according to a study published in the March 2006 issue of the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. The study pointed out that although there is now a greater understanding of the processes that cause fatigue, but an insufficient understanding of the underlying cause of fatigue associated with liver disease 1. The results of the study suggest that fatigue very likely occurs because of changes in your brains neurotransmission. Further research is needed to more fully understand the processes that affect liver disease-associated fatigue, as well as the effects on liver enzyme levels.
You May Like: Can Stress Cause Headaches And Fatigue
Chromatography Breathalysing The Liver
The researchers sampled over 100 patients – 52 with liver disease – using sorbent tubes to capture the VOCs in their exhaled air. The samples were analysed using thermal desorption followed by GC-MS. Air samples taken from the sample room were used to subtract any compounds that might have been present in the background.
The study found several compounds including dimethyl sulphide, acetone, 2-pentanone and 2-butanone were higher in patients with liver disease compared with the control patients who were free of disease. They state that these compounds are likely to cause a smell on the breath of the patients. A breakthrough in the identification of liver disease? Don’t hold your breath.
Pathophysiology Of Fatigue In Liver Disease
The pathogenesis of fatigue in general is poorly understood and this holds true for fatigue in the setting of liver disease . However, given that altered neurotransmission within the CNS drives central fatigue, and that central fatigue is the predominant issue in the setting of liver disease, any discussion of the possible etiology of fatigue in the context of liver disease must relate to these potential changes in neurotransmission within the brain . Therefore, the discussion of the pathophysiology of fatigue in liver disease must incorporate two main concepts:
How does the diseased or damaged liver communicate with the brain to cause changes in neurotransmission?
What specific changes in neurotransmission occur within the brain as a result of this communication, and how do these changes give rise to the genesis of central fatigue?
Moreover, this discussion must also be placed in the context that fatigue in patients with liver disease is manifest in the setting of a diagnosis often holding an uncertain outcome and often associated with societal taboos. Therefore, the diagnosis of chronic liver disease encompasses complex interactions among biological, psychosocial and behavioural processes, which can all significantly affect the clinical expression of fatigue in a given patient.
Also Check: Timberland Pro Work Boots Anti Fatigue
Elevated Liver Enzymes & Fatigue
Contrary to popular belief, fatigue is not the same as sleepiness, MayoClinic.com notes 3. Fatigue is often accompanied by a desire to sleep, as well as a lack of motivation to do anything else. Fatigue can be a symptom of several health conditions including liver disease. Elevated levels of liver enzymes, such as alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase, can indicate inflammation or damage to your liver cells 2. Elevated aspartate transaminase levels are also associated with fatigue. You should get regular medical exams to detect potential liver conditions early.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
What Are The Symptoms Of Liver Failure
Liver failure can take years to develop. The symptoms of liver failure often look like symptoms of other medical conditions, which can make it hard to diagnose in its early stages. Symptoms get worse as your failing liver continues to get weaker.
Chronic liver failure, or liver failure that occurs over many years, may cause:
Also Check: How To Tell If You Have Chronic Fatigue
Fatty Liver Disease: Itching Weakness Or Fatigue Could Be Symptoms Of Progression
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a build-up of excessive fat in the liver that can lead to liver damage resembling the damage caused by alcohol abuse, but that occurs in people who do not drink heavily. What are the six symptoms warning the condition has now become irreversible?
According to the health body, common symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- Loss of appetite
Between seven and 30 percent of people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develop inflammation of the liver , leading to liver damage, said Medline Plus.
The health site added: Minor damage to the liver can be repaired by the body.
However, severe or long-term damage can lead to the replacement of normal liver tissue with scar tissue , resulting in irreversible liver disease that causes the liver to stop working properly.
Scarring in the vein that carries blood into the liver from the other digestive organs, resulting in swollen blood vessels within the digestive system.
Rupture of these varices can cause life-threatening bleeding.
How Is Fatty Liver Disease Treated
There are no medicines with specific indications to treat fatty liver disease. However, this is an active area of research. Instead, fatty liver disease treatment focuses on managing the underlying cause and related conditions. For alcoholic fatty liver disease, this means stopping alcohol use. This is often easier said than done. Most people need help giving up alcohol for good. Talk with your doctor and find a recovery program that will meet your needs.
For NAFLD, the treatment goal is weight loss. The ideal amount of weight to lose is usually around 10% of your starting weight. But even more modest weight loss of 3 to 5% can be beneficial. Losing body weight will reduce the amount of fat in your liver and help manage many of the conditions related to NAFLD. If your NAFLD is related to another cause, such as a medicine, your doctor will address it as well.
Your doctor will also likely recommend a fatty liver disease diet as part of your treatment. It will help you lose weight and protect your liver by eliminating unhealthy fats from your diet. In general, this diet is low in fat overall. It also replaces saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. It limits simple sugars and high-glycemic index foods as well.
When NAFLD progresses to NASH and cirrhosis, liver transplantation may be an option.
Also Check: Vitamins And Minerals For Adrenal Fatigue
Patients And Control Groups
CHB patients: All patients who underwent liver biopsy at the liver center of Zhejiang Provincial Peoples Hospital between January 2015 and June 2017 were invited to complete a series of functional assessment and symptom quantification tools. All the patients who fulfilled the following inclusion criteria were enrolled: age18years, diagnosis of CHB based on HBsAg positivity for > 6months, detectable HBV-DNA level105 copies/mL for HBeAg-negative patients and104 copies/mL for HBeAg-positive patients, and no previous or concomitant anti-HBV therapy. Patients with liver comorbidities, such as hepatitis delta superinfection, hepatitis C virus co-infection, chronic alcohol consumption , Wilson disease, human immunodeficiency virus co-infection, and cirrhosis with encephalopathy, and patients with depressive symptoms and auto-immune hepatitis were excluded.
Community-dwelling group: The patient group was matched group-wise on age -, education-, and gender-matched basis with normal community controls who had completed the fatigue assessment tool. However, normal community controls did not undergo liver function tests as a part of screening.
PBC group: This chronic liver disease control group classically associated with fatigue was also matched for age and sex. Twenty of the total group proved possible to match from the PBC control group.
Myth: I Dont Have Any Symptoms So Theres No Way I Could Have Cirrhosis
Fact: It is possible to have cirrhosis of the liver and not know it. Many patients who have cirrhosis still have enough liver function to support their bodys daily operations and have no symptoms. Fatigue is a common symptom of cirrhosis, but feeling tired can be caused by many things. Its only when liver dysfunction or failure sets in that you can experience symptoms such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, confusion, fluid buildup in your belly, leg swelling and bleeding.
Recommended Reading: Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Fatigue
What Happens When Liver Shuts Down
Liver failure is when the liver has shut down or is shutting down. Cirrhosis is a late stage of liver disease where the liver is severely scarred but may still be able to perform its function to support life. When the liver is no longer able to perform its work adequately, its goes into liver failure.
Ask Yourself: Could I Be Toxic
Its easy to be toxic in todays world. More and more foreign substances are coming at us all the time from our environment its just a fact of life. Many of them act enough like hormones to throw off our hormonal balance. The amount and variety of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food, cosmetics, and more is growing all the time, too.Often, these toxic substances accumulate silently, without us realizing it. For example, I love to eat green peppers. But even when I buy organic, they still come wrapped in plastic that contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals.In even tiny amounts, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals can trick your body into reacting to what it thinks is a huge flood of estrogen. But they can also do the opposite and tell your body that its facing a severe lack of estrogen, and that, of course, just causes problems in the other direction.
Don’t Miss: Unexplained Weight Gain And Fatigue
What Are The Symptoms Of Liver Disease
Classic symptoms of liver disease include nausea, vomiting, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, and jaundice . Fatigue, weakness, and weight loss may also occur. However, since there are a variety of liver diseases, the symptoms tend to be specific for that illness until late-stage liver disease and liver failure occurs. Examples of liver disease symptoms due to certain conditions or diseases include:
Gilbert’s disease has no symptoms and is an incidental finding on a blood test where the bilirubin level is mildly elevated.
Cirrhosis of the liver will develop progressive symptoms as the liver fails. Some symptoms are directly related to the inability of the liver to metabolize the body’s waste products. Others reflect the failure of the liver to manufacture proteins required for body function and may affect blood clotting function, secondary sex characteristics, and brain function.