11. Urine Changes
Liver dysfunction can affect the processing of bilirubin, passing it to the kidneys and excreting it through urine that passes out of the body. Because bilirubin is yellowish in color, dark urine that is brownish/goldish/orangish can be a sign of liver damage. Unusual urine color can be caused by dehydration, too much vitamin A, urinary tract infection, too much protein, eating beets, and other things. See your healthcare provider if this symptom persists.
12. Intestinal Bleeding, Constipation, and Diarrhea
If the liver is significantly damaged, you can expect your bowels (intestines) to be impacted. High blood pressure in the arteries and/or veins going in and out of the liver can cause blood vessels to rupture, with consequent gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding can occur at the base of the esophagus, the stomach, or in the intestines. (16) Internal bleeding is bad.
Tumors in the liver can produce hormones that act on other organs; these chemical messengers can affect digestion and cause chronic constipation. (17) Chronic diarrhea can also be a sign of liver cancer. (18)
Your liver is resilient and forgiving but it’s not invincible. Eat right, drink enough water, exercise regularly, drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all), get enough good quality sleep, and seek professional advice if you experience any of the symptoms above. Early intervention for a budding liver problem can arrest and reverse any potential damage.