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13 Signs of Liver Disease: Liver Cancer Awareness Month

UVA Heath details 13 signs of liver disease for Liver Cancer Awareness month.

October is Liver Cancer Awareness month. If you have any of these symptoms of liver disease, it may be time to see a doctor.

Your liver is an essential organ. It filters your blood and gets toxins out of your body. It helps you digest food. Your liver also makes stuff your body needs. That’s just some of the hundreds of vital functions your liver does every day.

But what happens if there is something wrong with your liver? Would you recognize the signs and know what to do?

Unfortunately, most issues with your liver don’t cause noticeable symptoms early on. That means you may not know something is wrong right away. “The liver is like a black box,” says Stephen Caldwell, MD, a liver disease specialist at UVA Health. “Some patients get referred to the liver team from their primary care doctor complaining of just feeling crappy.”

Here are answers to common questions about liver health — what conditions can damage your liver, what signs you should pay attention to, and how to keep your liver healthier.

What Can Go Wrong With My Liver?

There are a number of conditions that may affect your liver. These include:

Genetic conditions may also affect your liver.

What Are the Signs of Liver Disease or Damage?

Although you may have no symptoms of liver disease, especially in its earliest stages, don't ignore these symptoms. Talk with your doctor if you have:

Think You Have Symptoms of Liver Disease?

We can check you out and refer you to a specialist

Other conditions can cause these symptoms. To test liver function, a simple blood test is usually done. Other tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or biopsy, may also be ordered if liver damage or cancer are suspected.

How Can I Avoid Liver Disease?

There’s no guarantee that you can prevent liver disease, but these tips may lower your risk:

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