Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease simply means that you’ve got more fat in your liver than there needs to be. This fat blocks your liver’s ability to do a good job of getting rid of toxins from your bloodstream. People who regularly drink alcohol can have excessive fat in their liver; others also do, even if they don’t drink alcohol at all. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – this condition is when you actually have fat stored in your liver for some unknown reason.
The symptoms of fatty liver are fairly easy to recognize. They include: abdominal pain, jaundice, raised levels of bilirubin in the blood, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal bloating. If your liver is enlarged, or if you’ve got one of the other two conditions, the symptoms won’t be quite as apparent. In fact, you may not even realize that there’s an issue with your liver, until your doctor tells you that it’s swollen and you feel tired.
Some people don’t even have symptoms of fatty liver disease. But having an enlarged liver, especially if you’ve got a mild version of it, can make life very uncomfortable. There are two major treatments for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. One of them is called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and the other is called corticosteroid drugs. When dealing with liver inflammation, you need to know which drugs will work best for you.
NSAIDs can make the symptoms of fatty liver go away, but they can’t make them go away forever. And while they’re taking effect, you’re going to be at risk for other side effects from these drugs, such as stomach ulcers and bleeding, nausea, chills and sweats, weakness and vomiting, discolored stools, bleeding, and more. Some of these symptoms can actually become permanent. The damage caused by NSAIDs to the liver can actually slow down cell regeneration – this can happen even if the liver is functioning normally, because some of the damaged cells have died. When you take this drug without causing any side effects, the results can be worse than if you had cancer, because it can spread to other parts of the body.
Corticosteroids work by blocking fat production, which means that once fatty liver disease is present, it cannot get better, and you are stuck with it. But this drug can cause serious complications, too, because it increases the risk of diabetes. When you stop taking it, you can get pancreatitis, or end stage pancreatic cancer. People with this condition usually have to undergo dialysis, which drains their cells away to prevent them from developing diabetes.
Excessive insulin can also lead to liver disease and can cause fatty liver, because it increases the amount of sugar produced in the liver’s cells. This makes it much harder for the liver to process insulin, so you can end up with a lot of excess sugars in your blood, which can increase your chances of obesity, especially when you eat a lot. This is also a leading cause of adult diabetes. If you have insulin resistance, which means that your pancreas isn’t working as efficiently as it should, you can develop type 2 diabetes much easier.
Many types of medications can have these types of side effects as well, because they are made to treat one or more issues. Some of these are cholesterol medications, because high cholesterol levels are a major reason that you develop liver disease. Other medications used to treat heart conditions may also increase triglyceride levels. For people with high blood pressure, diuretics can make it much harder to lose weight, because it raises your heart rate to help you drop pounds. Other medications used to treat depression can cause your appetite to drop, because it causes a drop in serotonin, which regulates appetite.
All of these symptoms, and the ones you may not be aware of, are symptoms of liver disease. It is extremely important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. The sooner you can diagnose this problem, the quicker you will be able to stop the damage it can cause. Remember, if you experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away: constipation, jaundice, fatigue, hyperactivity, or if you start having memory loss, or losing your appetite.