7 things your feet can tell you about your liver – itchiness, heat and smell
Liver disease is on the rise, with deaths since 1970 increasing by 400%.
In 2020, the number of people who died with an underlying cause of liver disease in England rose to 10,127.
Disease in the liver is mostly preventable, especially when patients can spot the early signs their liver is failing.
So how can you spot these first symptoms? It turns out your feet give a number of warning signs something is not quite right with your liver.
According to Dr Eric Berg, chiropractor and health educator, signs found on your feet warning of liver problems may include:
- Itching of the foot, usually at the bottom
- Pain or inflammation at the bottom of the foot
- Hot feet
- Smelly feet
- Pitting oedema – which appears as a dent in swollen skin
- Toenail fungus
- White nailbed.
Other possible causes for a falling liver may include:
- Side effect from certain medications
- Too much sugar in the diet
- Too many canned foods
- Lack of vegetables
- Excessive alcohol
- Excessive protein.
Alcohol versus non-alcohol liver disease
Alcohol-related fatty liver disease is a condition that is caused by excess alcohol consumption.
According to the NHS, it may be reversed if one abstains from alcohol for at least two weeks.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, on the other hand, occurs in people who do not drink too much or do not drink at all.
It is associated with excess fat built up in the liver caused by overeating, or if they have underlying conditions such as obesity, diabetes or high triglycerides.
“You may not have any symptoms in the early stage of cirrhosis because your liver can still function despite being damaged,” warns the NHS.
It adds: “You tend to get symptoms if your liver becomes more severely damaged.”
The main symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- Tiredness and weakness
- Feeling sick (nausea) and loss of appetite resulting in weight loss
- Red patches on your palms and small, spider-like blood vessels on your skin (spider angiomas) above waist level.