Sure Signs You Have Liver Disease, Doctors Say – Eat This, Not That

Liver disease can be very sneaky – if people don’t know the signs, it can be easy to miss until the disease is advanced. “This is the most difficult part of the treatment”, says Anurag Maheshwari, MD, gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Convincing patients that they need to act now to avoid complications in the future can sometimes be a challenge because they don’t feel any different today.” Here are five sure signs of liver disease, according to doctors. Keep reading – and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.


According to doctors, overweight and diabetes are strongly correlated with fatty liver disease. “Two risk factors for NAFLD, obesity and diabetes, are becoming more prevalent,” says Laura Dichtel, MD, MHS, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “We currently have no FDA-approved treatment for NAFLD, and weight loss is the only effective treatment. Understanding how growth hormone improves liver fat and inflammation in people with NAFLD could lead to the development of new targeted treatments.”

Awakened woman lying in bed with open eyes.

“One of the most common and debilitating symptoms in people with liver disease is fatigue,” says Melissa Palmer, MD. “It is universal for all varieties of liver disease, from primary biliary cirrhosis to chronic hepatitis C. In some patients, fatigue begins many years after diagnosis of liver disease. In others, it was the main reason for seeing a doctor.In these people see several doctors in search of a cause for their extreme weariness.Some patients even request a psychiatric evaluation, because an accompanying symptom is often depression.

Woman rubbing her eyes.

Jaundice is a common symptom of liver disease and should never be ignored. “Many disorders that cause jaundice, especially severe liver disease, cause other symptoms or serious problems,” says Danielle Tholey, MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. “In people with liver disease, these symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, as well as small, spider-like blood vessels visible in the skin (spider angiomas).

woman with painful abdominal or pelvic pain

Abdominal pain could be due to ascites, a sign of liver damage. “Ascites is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity caused by leakage of fluid from the surface of the liver and intestine”, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Ascites due to liver disease usually accompanies other features of liver disease, such as portal hypertension. Symptoms of ascites may include a distended abdominal cavity, which causes discomfort and shortness of breath .”


Unexplained weight loss could be a sign of liver disease, experts warn. “Because the liver plays such a key role in the digestive system, cirrhosis and liver cancer can both cause you to lose your appetite and cause you to lose weight,” according to the New South Wales Cancer Council.


If you have symptoms of liver disease, seek immediate medical attention. The earlier liver disease is diagnosed, the better your chances of receiving treatment. “You don’t want to go yellow with jaundice or feel pain in your upper right abdomen because those are signs that your liver is already very sick,” says Saleh Alqahtani, MD, director of clinical liver research for Johns Hopkins Medicine. “It’s far better to stop liver disease before it gets too bad.”

Mast Ferozan

Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer passionate about making science and research-based information accessible to the general public. Read more

Comments are closed.