HealthSpotting liver disease early, the subtle signs hiding in your nails

Spotting liver disease early, the subtle signs hiding in your nails

Such symptoms are given by a sick liver.
Such symptoms are given by a sick liver.
Images source: © Licensor | suthep wongkhad

8:48 PM EST, January 11, 2024

Our liver encounters a variety of substances every day, many of which negatively affect our health. The liver is particularly averse to alcohol, a toxin that not only leads to addiction but also wreaks havoc within our bodies.

Further, our liver is burdened by highly processed foods, fried dishes, and foods rich in trans fats, sugar, and salt. Certain treatments and supplements also pose a risk to the liver. Hence, their administration should always be overseen by a doctor to avoid dangerous interactions.

In addition, quitting smoking and limiting the regular consumption of red meat are recommended. Furthermore, being vigilant about the chemical additives, preservatives, and dyes present in food products can shield the liver from harm.

Signs of Liver Disease

Doctors specializing in liver diseases caution that a burgeoning liver condition can persist for an extended period without exhibiting clear symptoms.

The onset of pain often signals that the liver has swollen due to significant changes within it, leading to pressure on other tissues. This is why liver diseases are rather deceptive. Patients often seek medical help only when the disease has reached an advanced stage, thereby decreasing the likelihood of effective treatment.

Furthermore, even when a diseased liver does send us warning signs, these can be so elusive that they're easy to overlook; the changes that appear on our nails being a case in point.

Clinicians should take into account and scrutinize the color, texture, thickness, and curvature of patients' nails to swiftly and accurately diagnose liver disease in its early stages - advises the Department of Dermatology at Sohag University.

Researchers highlight that Terry's Nails, a condition in which almost the entire nail looks like matte glass and is clouded over, can indicate chronic liver disease. With the exception of a narrow strip (roughly 0.02 to 0.12 inches) where the nail plate separates from the skin, the nail retains its normal pink hue. The presence of this symptom should immediately prompt a medical consultation.

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