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Fatty liver symptoms: Long-lasting itching may be a warning for liver scarring

Obesity: NHS explain how to work out your BMI

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is closely linked to obesity, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Once the liver becomes inflamed, and some scarring might occur, the condition presents symptoms. The University of Rochester Medical Centre noted that when a person shows signs of liver cell damage, it’s known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It’s very likely NASH was present before symptoms emerged, because it can take years for the body to send out SOS signals.

However, when it does, you might confuse its symptoms with another condition entirely.

For example, you might experience “long-lasting itching”, which might be attributed to eczema.

Yet, this bothersome signal could really be trying to highlight that the liver is struggling to function.

NASH involves scarring and hardening of the liver, so it can also cause “spider-like blood vessels on the skin”.

Other symptoms of NASH include:

  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Pain in the right upper belly
  • Severe fatigue

Scarring of the liver is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to internal bleeding.

Related health conditions

Having type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure can increase the likelihood of a fatty liver.

Moreover, it’s more common in those with heart disease, hypothyroidism, or polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Furthermore, fatty liver disease might be more likely in those who suffer from sleep apnea.

In the first stages of fatty liver disease, there are hardly any outward symptoms.

This means the condition can continue to progress without action taken to prevent it from getting worse.

Thankfully, healthy lifestyle choices can help to reverse a fatty liver, which includes exercising regularly.

This will help the affected individual to lose weight, and to lower their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Moving the body will also help to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Although this type of fatty liver disease isn’t caused by drinking alcohol, it’s still a good idea not to drink if you’d like to trim the fat.

Drinking alcohol will only worsen a fatty liver, whether it was started by alcohol consumption or not.

Any of the following symptoms need to be followed up by a doctor:

  • Severe tiredness (fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Extra fluid buildup (fluid retention)
  • Bleeding

Blood tests and imaging tests, such as a CT scan and ultrasounds, can help diagnose the condition.

Healthcare professionals are likely to advise you to lead healthy lifestyle if you do have fatty liver disease.

This is to prevent cirrhosis – scarring of the liver – that can lead to life-threatening situations.

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