Several diseases can damage the liver, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. There are drugs, including some alternative medications that can harm the liver under the wrong set of circumstances. Toxic chemicals can do damage to the liver.
Since the liver performs hundreds of different functions in the body, symptoms of liver damage may vary, depending on how the liver was affected. Sometimes liver disease does not show any symptoms for years, until after a significant amount of damage has been done.
As to the common signs of liver damage, early-stage cirrhosis (which can be caused by alcoholism or chronic hepatitis) may cause fatigue, lack of energy, nausea or loss of appetite. There may be little red spots that are clusters of tiny red veins on the skin. The person may bruise or bleed easily. In advanced cases of cirrhosis, the skin may look yellowish from jaundice and it may itch. Gallstones sometimes develop.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has liver disease, I urge you to see a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for diseases such as hepatitis C. If the problem is drinking, a doctor can help locate appropriate detoxification and treatment programs.