Thursday, March 13, 2008

7 Signs of Liver Disease

Only 7 more days (from yesterday...oops), and I thought I would post the 7 top signs of liver disease. Although we are post transplant, we still watch for these signs as they can be signs of rejection:

1) Light colored poo....I know that poo is just what everyone want to hear about, but that is the truth. Emma's was almost white pre-transplant.

2) Jaundice skin...this is the number one thing that people usually think of when they think of liver disease.

3) Hard, distended the liver becomes more ill, it tries to regenerate itself. It will literally add onto itself. If liver disease is progressing it will kill off that part also, but the liver will still try to regenerate. That makes for a very hard and big tummy. Once the liver gets to an advanced stage of cirrosis then it will start to shrink...never to regenerate again.

4) Lethargy...when any organ is not functioning correctly it makes your energy level become lower and lower.

5) the liver gets larger it pushes on the other organs. It also makes processing food become more difficult which can lead to increased vomitting.

6) Elevated LFT's....The liver function tests in your bloodstream become elevated.

7) Itchiness and bruising - both signs of progressed liver disease.

Obviously, only one of these may or may not mean much, but when your child has ALL of is a frightening road. Being post transplant causes increased anxiety anytime I see any of these signs. However, if I do see any, it helps me to know that I can get her blood drawn and know if it is liver related or not.

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