Fatty Liver Symptoms Cannot Be Ignored

November 12, 2012

Fatty Liver Symptoms Cannot Be Ignored

By the time a person experienced fatty liver symptoms, their livers have already been enlarged. Patients need immediate treatment if they are to avoid potentially deadly cirrhosis. Medical experts estimate that 25% of all Americans suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, often just known as fatty liver.

As its name implies, the liver is swollen with fat deposits. A healthy liver can break down fats that people consume in their diets. But sometimes the liver keeps hold of the fat instead of eliminating it from the body. Over time, the fat accumulates in the liver tissues. The liver swells up, becomes discolored and begins to become less and less efficient. If left untreated, the liver can shut down completely, causing death.

Silent Symptoms

It is normal for the liver to contain up to 10% of fat. The human body contains some give so that if any organ begins to swell up, pain or other complications do not immediately develop. Although this is fortunate from a pain management perspective, it is unfortunate that most people with fatty livers never experience fatty liver symptoms until their livers are becoming irreversibly damaged.

These silent symptoms can last for years. Meanwhile, the liver is often accumulating more and more fat cells in its tissues. Eventually this fat causes scarring and dead cells in the liver.

When Symptoms Finally Appear

Common fatty liver symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Constant pain in the right side of the abdomen

  • Bloating as if die to gas or constipation

  • Nausea which may or may not be coupled with vomiting

  • Loss of appetite due to nausea and/or abdominal pain

  • Weight loss or inability to lose weight when following a diet and exercise program

  • Felling very tired all of the time despite getting enough sleep

  • More flatulence than usual

  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes

  • Fever

Some patients may also experience high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These often do not give any physical symptoms but show up on medical tests. Fatty liver symptoms mimic other medical conditions including cancer. Never self-diagnose your symptoms. Always go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis. This usually involves several tests, including a blood test and a liver biopsy.

Who Is At Risk For Fatty Liver?

According to the world renowned Mayo Clinic, many types of people are more prone to developing fatty liver than others. If you fall into one or more of these categories, you may be able to avoid fatty liver symptoms through a sensible diet, behavior modification and medical treatment to slow down the progression to cirrhosis:

  • Obese people, even if they are not diabetic.

  • People with Type 2 diabetes or “sugar diabetes.”

  • People suffering from high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure.

  • People who suddenly lost a lot of weight, often through fad diets. This puts a strain on the liver because it cannot process all of the fat being burned off at once.

  • People who are malnourished.

  • People suffering from Wilson¬ís Disease, where their bodies contain too much copper

  • People who recently had gastric bypass weight loss surgery because they can become malnourished.

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