Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver, causing inflammation and damage. This can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe liver damage.
In this article, we'll take a look at the common symptoms of fatty liver and how they can be managed.
Warning signs of fatty liver
- Fatigue and weakness: One of the most common symptoms of fatty liver disease is fatigue and weakness. This is due to the fact that the liver plays a key role in the body's energy metabolism. When the liver is not functioning properly, it can lead to decreased energy levels and feelings of fatigue.
- Abdominal discomfort: Abdominal discomfort, such as pain or bloating, is another common symptom of fatty liver disease. This is because the liver is located in the upper right part of the abdomen, and when it becomes inflamed or damaged, it can cause pain or discomfort in the surrounding area.
- Jaundice: Jaundice is a condition in which the skin and eyes turn yellow due to a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product that is normally processed by the liver. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to process bilirubin properly, leading to jaundice.
- Enlarged liver: An enlarged liver, also known as hepatomegaly, is a common symptom of fatty liver disease. This is because as fat accumulates in the liver, it can cause the liver to become enlarged and inflamed. An enlarged liver can also cause discomfort or a feeling of fullness in the upper right part of the abdomen.
- Elevated liver enzymes: Elevated liver enzymes, as detected through a blood test, can indicate liver damage or inflammation. While elevated liver enzymes can be caused by a variety of factors, including medication use and viral infections, they are also a common indicator of fatty liver disease.
- Loss of appetite: Loss of appetite is another common symptom of fatty liver disease. This can be due to a range of factors, including nausea and discomfort in the abdomen, as well as changes in the body's metabolism and energy levels.
- Swollen legs and abdomen: Swelling in the legs and abdomen, known as edema, is a common symptom of advanced liver disease. This is due to the fact that the liver plays a key role in regulating fluid balance in the body. When the liver is not functioning properly, it can lead to fluid accumulation and swelling.
- Easy bruising or bleeding: The liver is also responsible for producing clotting factors that help the blood to clot. When the liver is damaged, it may not be able to produce these clotting factors, leading to easy bruising or bleeding.
- Mental confusion or difficulty concentrating: As liver function declines, it can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body, including ammonia. This can cause mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, and even coma in severe cases.
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: Fatty liver disease is closely linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. This can eventually lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
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What is the Liver's role in our body?
The liver is a crucial organ that performs a range of essential functions to support life. Some of the liver's primary functions include:
- Bile production: The liver produces bile, a fluid that helps with the digestion and absorption of fats in the small intestine.
- Protein synthesis: The liver synthesizes proteins that are necessary for various bodily functions, such as blood clotting, maintaining fluid balance, and transporting substances throughout the body.
- Iron storage: The liver stores iron, a mineral that is essential for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transport.
- Nutrient metabolism: The liver plays a crucial role in converting nutrients from food into energy that the body can use.
- Blood clotting: The liver produces substances that help the blood clot, which is essential for wound healing and preventing excessive bleeding.
- Immune function: The liver helps the body fight off infections by producing immune factors and removing harmful bacteria and toxins from the blood.
Overall, the liver is a complex and vital organ that performs numerous functions to keep the body healthy and functioning properly.
It's important to note that many people with fatty liver do not experience any symptoms. But if you have similar symptoms than book your consultation with Healeo's liver experts and get personalized consultation. Contact us now!