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What Is Fatty Liver, Its Sign & Symptoms

Overview

Hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver, is a common disorder characterised by the accumulation of excess fat in the liver cells. This illness can result in hepatic inflammation, which can cause scarring and damage to the liver. This scarring can even lead to liver failure in severe circumstances. 

Stages of fatty liver disease?

Stage 1: Steatosis (simple fatty liver) is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver cells in a relatively innocuous manner, but not to the point where symptoms occur. 

Stage 2: Alcohol-free Steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more serious form of NAFLD that develops when the liver is damaged and inflamed. People who are overweight or obese, or who have diabetes, are more likely to develop NASH.

Stage 3: Fibrosis develops when chronic inflammation causes scar tissue to form around the liver and adjacent blood vessels, yet the liver continues to function normally. 

Stage 4: Cirrhosis, the most severe stage, occurs when normal liver tissues are replaced by fibrosis to the point where the liver’s structure and function are compromised, potentially leading to liver failure and cancer.

The following are some of the most common causes of fatty liver disease: 

  • Excess calories cause fat to accumulate in the liver. 
  • Fatty liver can be caused by a number of factors, including being overweight or obese, having diabetes, or having excessive triglycerides. 
  • Fatty liver can also be caused by alcohol addiction and starvation. 
  • Hepatitis C, especially chronic viral hepatitis, causes rapid weight loss. 
  • Certain genes may potentially increase the chance of fatty liver disease.

Symptoms of fatty liver disease?

  • In the upper right side of the abdomen, there is discomfort or pain. 
  • Pain in the abdomen, Appetite loss, Nausea, Weakness 
  • Jaundice is characterised by a yellowing of the skin and eyes. 
  • Swelling in the legs and abdomen 
  • Confusion and inability to concentrate 
  • Extreme weariness or exhaustion 
  • Loss of weight 
  • Spleen enlargement Enlarged blood vessels immediately beneath the skin’s surface 
  • Palms that are red in colour

Complications of fatty liver disease?

  • Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, is the most common consequence. Scarring can lead to: 
  • In the abdomen, there is an accumulation of fluid. 
  • Swollen esophageal veins that might burst and cause bleeding 
  • Drowsiness, slurred speech, and confusion 
  • Liver cancer 
  • Liver failure in its latter stages

How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?

  • Blood tests are used to assess overall liver function and to detect inflammation. 
  • Liver ultrasound is a basic imaging method that examines the shape and consistency of the liver as well as biliary tract issues such as gallstones. 
  • Computed tomography (CT) is a type of body imaging that gives you a close-up image of your liver. 
  • To get a definitive diagnosis of fatty liver disease, a liver biopsy may be required. The test also aids in determining the severity of liver inflammation and the stage of the disease.

How can fatty liver disease be prevented? 

  • Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). 
  • Consume a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. 
  • Refined carbs, such as sweets, white rice, and white bread, should be consumed in moderation. 
  • Saturated fats, trans fats found in red meat, and processed snack foods should all be avoided. 
  • Exercise on a regular basis. 
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation or avoided entirely. 
  • Take your meds exactly as directed. 
  • Give up smoking.

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