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What Are Symptoms of Liver Damage in Women?

Several types of liver disease: hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.
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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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The symptoms of liver damage in women are similar to those in men. These symptoms may include yellowing of the skin and eyes, a condition called jaundice, tea-colored urine, and generalized itching. In addition, the liver may look and feel enlarged, and the patient may have little or no appetite. In addition, a person may experience include weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and clay-colored stools. Sometimes a blocked bile duct can contribute to clay- or light-colored stools as well.

Typically, early symptoms of liver damage in women are vague. They may include bloating, excessive gas, and pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. Although these symptoms can be mild and due to other, less serious conditions, they must be evaluated by the physician. As symptoms of liver damage in women become worse, the patient may even display confusion and lethargy. This happens because liver damage can produce high amounts of ammonia to be released into the blood stream, causing confusion and sleepiness.

Primary liver damage can be caused by excessive intake of alcohol, leading to cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and hepatitis. In addition, gallbladder disease can cause liver damage in women. Although the liver can repair itself, extensive liver damage may be permanent. In addition, certain medications and illicit drugs can also contribute to liver damage in both men and women. For example, taking pain relievers while drinking alcohol may result in liver damage, and in many times, the condition is irreversible.

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Treating liver damage depends upon the underlying cause. For example if the liver damage is caused by cirrhosis, refraining from consuming alcoholic beverages may result in an improvement. Similarly, if liver damage is related to medications or drugs, stopping the drugs may result in reversal of the liver damage. Since diabetes can contribute to liver damage in women and men, diabetic patients must comply with the medication regimen and follow their physician's recommendations for a healthy diet and exercise program.

Sometimes, temporary liver damage can occur as a result of a viral infection. These infections include mononucleosis and hepatitis. Typically, however, after the infection has been resolved, the liver damage will heal. Frequently, when liver damage is present, certain liver enzymes become elevated, and these enzymes can be evaluated through a simple blood test. As the infection resolves, liver enzymes in the blood generally revert back to normal, easing symptoms of liver damage in women and men alike.

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Discuss this Article

burcidi
Post 3

The first symptom of liver damage I developed was Terry's nails. This is when the nails become white all of the sudden. There are many potential causes of this. But after my blood work and CT scan confirmed liver damage, I'm sure that cirrhosis was the cause in my case.

fify
Post 2

@ZipLine-- You've made a great point. Early stages of liver damage may not have any physical signs. But even in the early stages, liver function test results will be abnormal. So this is the best and most reliable sign.

ZipLine
Post 1

As far as I understand, it takes a lot to damage the liver. I read somewhere that our liver renews itself more quickly than any other organ in our body.

I also think that mild damage is not really noticeable. For example, my mom has been diagnosed with fatty liver. She also had high liver enzymes, but thankfully, those are back to normal. The doctor said that the fatty liver is probably a few years old. But all this while, she has not had any symptoms.

I think symptoms show up when the damage is very serious and close to being irreversible. So it's probably a good idea for people who use medications and alcohol frequently to get regular checkups and make sure that their liver is doing well.

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