The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and second overall after the skin. In an adult, the liver weighs between 1.4 and 1.6 kilograms. The liver is responsible for more than 500 functions, which include processing various nutrients, building proteins, producing bile, and detoxifying blood.
However, some disorders can lead to an enlarged liver, besides other problems. An enlarged liver, also called hepatomegaly, is not a disease by itself. It is a sign of such underlying conditions as fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and congestive heart failure.
Enlarged liver symptoms can, therefore, indicate that you have a health condition that needs medical attention. Below are 10 enlarged liver symptoms to be aware of.
Symptom #1: Bloating
Abdominal swelling or bloating can be caused by an enlarged liver due to advanced disease conditions. Reduced levels of blood proteins compromise the ability to hold fluids within the blood vessels. Together with increased pressure, fluids can leak into the abdominal cavity resulting in abdominal ascites, which manifests outwardly as a distended belly.
Infringement on the abdominal organs by the enlarged liver can cause a feeling of being full and bloated. As a result, the affected person can lose appetite and present with abdominal discomfort, besides nausea and filling up quickly. Other concurrent disease conditions that deplete protein levels and obesity can worsen the abdominal swelling and bloating. Fluid in the abdominal cavity can be removed surgically or by use of drugs that enhance water loss, also called diuretics.