What other symptoms might occur with enlarged liver?

Enlarged liver may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.

Gastrointestinal symptoms that may occur along with enlarged liver

Enlarged liver may accompany other symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal system including:

  • Abdominal swelling, distention or bloating
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloody stool (blood may be red, black, or tarry in texture)
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Pale or clay-colored stools

Other symptoms that may occur along with enlarged liver

Enlarged liver may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

  • Discolored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of body hair
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Redness on the palms of the hands
  • Spider angiomas (red skin lesion consisting of small blood vessels that spread out in a pattern that resembles a spider web)
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, enlarged liver may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling, distention or bloating
  • Agitation
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Difficulty walking
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Severe fatigue
  • Vomiting blood or black material (resembling coffee grounds)

What is enlarged liver?

Enlarged liver, called hepatomegaly, is an increase in size of the liver, whatever the cause. In some cases, both the liver and spleen become enlarged together, and the resulting condition is called hepatosplenomegaly. The liver is an organ in the digestive system that assists the digestive process and carries out many other essential functions. These functions include producing bile to help br... Read more about enlarged liverintroduction


What causes enlarged liver?

Enlarged liver is usually caused by liver disorders related to excessive alcohol use, congestive heart failure, glycogen storage disease, viral hepatitis, liver cancer, cirrhosis, and steatosis (fat in the liver). It can also be caused by a large variety of disorders affecting other body systems, such as infectious mononucleosis or tumor metastases from other primary cancers in the body.
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Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 1, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System

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