Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver
Under normal conditions, the liver contains some amount of fat which is not considered to bring about any health concerns. However, when the build-up of fat in the liver cells goes to unusually high amounts, it causes a deterioration in the normal functions of the organ, kills healthy tissues, and eventually can give rise to fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver is nothing but a gradual accumulation of fat in the liver cells, causing it to grow in size, and bring about tenderness on palpation. This can either be of a brief episode or a chronic occurrence and is largely influenced by one’s lifestyle and eating habits.
Symptoms – The initial stages of this disease is usually symptom free. The liver normally is almost entirely damaged, with the entire organ being filled with fat, when the disease makes its presentation. The symptoms may appear suddenly, or it may occur over time; but eventually all of the symptoms become evident by the sufferer.
– Pain – The excess fat causes a heaviness, which leads to a constant pain in the upper abdominal area, and this is when the individual realizes that something is amiss. When the pain becomes unbearable, it may even bring about nauseousness and/or vomiting.
– Fatigue – The individual will begin to notice a feeling of weakness, exhaustion, and malaise for no apparent reasons. A damaged liver leads to a diminished supply of red blood cells. The production of essential proteins becomes reduced, which is vital for normal cellular process, as well as the liver’s filtering abilities goes rock bottom. All these grouped together bring about the above-mentioned ill feelings.
– Inflammation – Unusually increased accumulation of fat in the liver will also be accompanied by marked inflammatory conditions of the liver. This may bring about mild flu-like symptoms, with muscle and joint pains, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
– Easy bruising – This occurs due to the liver’s inability to synthesize proteins required for clotting of blood in a manner that it should. This inefficiency leads to a purplish discoloration without any break in the overlying skin with even a slightest bump or skin abrasion.
– Yellowish discoloration – In its severe condition, yellowing of the skin and eyes will also be noted. This happens when the bilirubin, a water insoluble pigment, is released into the bloodstream instead of being used in the production of bile, which is a fluid secreted by the liver that aids in absorption of fats.
Due to the poor functions of the liver, irritable bowel syndrome also becomes a part of this liver condition and symptoms associated with IBS also make their presentation. Hence either diarrhea or constipation, or even mucus in stool may be perceived by the sufferer.
When fatty liver disease is chosen to be left untreated, then this can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a condition of the liver that disrupts its normal structure by the formation of regenerative nodules and an increase of interstitial fibrous tissue. This is considered fatal, for it is an irreversible condition of the liver.
Healthy eating and weight loss strategies generally help in treating and preventing fatty liver disease condition.