Fatty liver is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver cells. The accumulation of fat is most commonly caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, but can also be caused by high levels of cholesterol and other fats. Over time, fat builds up to a point where it affects liver function and causes liver failure. When the liver is damaged and functioning becomes compromised, the result is often fatal.
Liver symptoms are often overlooked as there is no pain or discomfort associated with them. However, when liver damage takes place, the symptoms will become more pronounced and noticeable. The following are common signs you have a fatty liver. They may also be signs that another condition is present.
Fatigue: Fatigue is easily the most noted symptom. As fat accumulates in the liver cells, it weakens the function of these cells. Fatigue is usually a constant, dull ache that cannot be relieved by rest. People who are suffering from liver disease or alcohol abuse will suffer from more severe symptoms of fatigue. The more the liver is damaged, the more pronounced and prolonged the fatigue will be.
Increased Glucose: Blood glucose levels in the body rise when you consume alcohol or eat food that is high in sugar. However, as excess glucose accumulates in the liver cells, the liver’s ability to metabolize sugar in the blood becomes impaired. As blood sugar levels in the body continue to rise, you may exhibit restless, fidgety, short-term memory loss or periods of temporary amnesia. People with a fatty liver will have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Pain: Unexplained, sudden or chronic pain in the area of the liver is another one of the signs you have a fatty liver. Many times, the liver has to be removed in cases of patients who have developed serious complications as a result of their condition. The pain will be felt in the abdomen near the liver. While there could be other explanations for the pain, such as gallstones or portal hypertension, it is always a sign that something is not well, and that you should seek medical attention.
Tenderness: Fatty liver is also accompanied by weakness. Your skin will tend to be thin and your joints will feel stiff. When your cholesterol levels become too high, this can lead to liver disease, which can eventually lead to complete weakness. Other signs you have a fatty liver include lethargy and weakness.
Infection: Some people have an overactive response to the immune system, which can lead to infections in the liver. There may be bacterial overgrowth, yeast infection, or a virus. Some of the signs you have a fatty liver that indicate liver problems include fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, swelling of the ankles or feet, aches and pains, dark urine, and abdominal discomfort.
When these signs, you should make an appointment with your doctor to determine if the symptoms are liver-related or something else. Cholesterol is necessary for proper function, but excess fat is not. If you have a lot of fat and don’t know it, that’s a good place to start looking. If you are overweight, you need to lose weight and clean up your liver if you want to be healthy.
The symptoms of having a fatty liver are often very subtle and many people do not associate them with liver disease at all. But even if you have a slight feeling of sickness, especially if it is accompanied by other signs you have a fatty liver, see your doctor immediately. Liver disease and fatty liver do not mix very well and you don’t want that to happen. Early detection and treatment of this illness dramatically increases your chances of recovery.
These signs are not the only things that indicate liver disease or fatty liver. Many times there are no symptoms at all, so you might assume that you don’t have a liver condition at all and avoid treatment. However, one problem with liver disease is that sometimes the signs discussed above are actually symptoms of another medical problem.
For example, polydipsia, polystomia and hepatitis are all liver diseases that can cause many of the same liver condition symptoms that you have a fatty liver. They include jaundice, anemia, and gallstones. If you have any of these symptoms, you should get a liver test. Even if you have jaundice, a liver test alone will not show whether or not you have liver disease. You need to see your doctor to be able to determine whether or not you have this liver condition.