The 12 most common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease
Fatty Liver Disease is a medical condition also known as Hepatic Steatosis. This is where fat cells build up in the liver. This can lead to inflammation, scarring and liver cirrhosis. A non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) is very common and is caused by eating the wrong foods for many years. Many people go for years without noticing any symptoms of this. The liver acts as a filtration system and has to break down toxins. When it filters out alcohol, poisonous by-products are created which damage the liver. This case is known as Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ALFD).
In this article, we will share 12 common symptoms of fatty liver disease that you may not be aware of.
1. Heart Pain: Some people with a fatty liver experience pain in the heart, especially when laying on their left side at night. You may also feel this pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. If you experience pain in these areas, visit a health care professional for a simple blood test.
2. Gyno: When the liver is fatty or inflamed it is unable to filter out estrogen, which causes high estrogen levels. In men “man-boobs” or gynecomastia is often a side effect of having too much estrogen.
3. Spider Veins: Another sign of liver problems is spider veins, which is a symptom that the liver isn’t filtering out enough estrogen. This is more common in women and is a case where veins in the legs have become weakened.
4. Night Blindness: If your vision gets worse at night then it is likely you are not absorbing enough Vitamin A. If you have a fatty liver, it may not be making enough bile to help absorb vitamin A. You may also notice your vision getting poorer and poorer over time.
5. Diabetes is the main symptom of fatty liver: When the liver becomes fatty and inflamed it loses its capacity to control blood sugars. This leads to type 2 diabetes.
6. Fatigue: If you have a fatty liver you will feel tired quite often throughout the day. The liver acts as the main filtration system for the body. A weakened fatty liver slows down causing toxins to leak into the body, which affects the glands. This causes hormone imbalances, tiredness and constant aching in the muscles.
7. Right Shoulder Pain: You may also experience right shoulder pain, or pain specific to the right side of the upper back and neck. This is linked to liver and gallbladder problems, as they are not producing enough bile. The nerves are connected to this area of the body, which causes pain.
8. Belly Fat: If you find that most of your weight accumulates around the belly, then you most likely have a fatty liver. A fatty liver is linked to high insulin levels in the body, which causes fat cells to be produced around the stomach.
9. Confusion: As the liver is unable to balance sugar and glucose levels properly, the blood sugars rise and fall in an unnatural pattern. This may leave you feeling groggy and confused, as the brain is not receiving enough nutrients.
10. Jaundice: This is a condition where you may experience yellowing in the whites of the eyes and skin. This is a common sign of liver problems and is caused by having too much bilirubin in the blood, which is usually filtered out by the liver.
11. Darker Urine: Although darker urine may be caused by dehydration, those with a fatty liver will experience this more often. The urine may smell stronger as chemicals usually taken care of by the liver, will be excreted through the kidneys instead.
12. Fluid Retention: The worse the liver gets, the more fluid is stored in the body. This can cause pressure and pain on the joints, especially in the back. If the belly swells up quickly with a high amount of fluid, see a health care professional and take a blood test for elevated liver enzymes.
As you can see there are many symptoms and signs of fatty liver disease. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny, obese, muscly or have any body type. This can occur in anyone who consumes the wrong foods or drinks. If left untreated, a fatty liver can develop into NASH (Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis) a more serious form of inflammation in the liver. Liver cells will become damaged, scarred and may even lead to liver cancer. If you have any doubts about your health, speak with a health care professional immediately. The good news is that fatty liver disease is reversible by fixing the diet and eating the right foods.