Liver disease is a medical condition that can have serious consequences for your health. It occurs when a specific organ fails to function properly and causes damage to other organs. In most cases, liver disease is the result of long-term exposure to a toxin, either through excessive alcohol consumption or certain drugs. However, it can also be caused by viral infections, exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, and numerous other factors. The symptoms may vary depending on the severity of liver disease, but most patients experience at least a few of them.
Fatty liver disease is usually characterized by jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, fatigue, lethargy, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and jaundice. Some people may also experience vomiting, abdominal bloating, bad breath, constipation, diarrhea, itching, hair loss, and liver pain. While most people with fatty liver disease improve within a few months to a year when the condition is addressed, others’ symptoms don’t subside until much longer. This is often due to the fact that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has symptoms similar to those of alcoholic fatty liver disease. To distinguish the symptoms of NAFLD from those of the alcoholic version, doctors use tests such as a blood test, liver function tests, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI.
Abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss are common symptoms of fatty liver. Fatty liver causes also include symptoms such as flatulence, gas, bloating, low appetite, nausea, and vomiting. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately to determine if the symptoms are caused by fatty liver. Symptoms of NAFLD include persistent coughing with mucus-like material, persistent jaundice, enlarged spleen, ascites, dark urine, and fever.
When fatty liver is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, symptoms include a raised liver enzymes level, jaundice, and dark urine. This condition is called fatty liver syndrome and is characterized by progressive liver damage. The treatment for alcoholic fatty liver is similar to treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver. However, alcoholic fatty liver treatment focuses more on controlling and lessening the damage caused by alcohol consumption. This includes the reduction of alcohol consumption, the taking of medications that support liver function, and change in diet.
NAFLD is caused by several factors such as genetic predisposition and inflammation. These factors combine to create a fatty liver, which can result to steatosis or cirrhosis. Steatosis and cirrhosis are two serious liver conditions that require immediate liver surgery, medical intervention, and rehabilitation. Alcohol abuse, especially chronic drinking, can cause fatty liver disease because it triggers accumulation of fat in the tissues of the body. Alcoholics commonly build-up fatty deposits around the liver.
NAFLD is diagnosed with ultrasound and CT scans. During an ultrasound test, a small camera is used to view the liver through a tube inserted into the abdominal cavity. The end result of this test is images of the internal structures of the liver, which show if there are any signs of inflammation, fibrosis, or scarring. A CT scan will reveal if a person has liver disease if he or she displays enlarged livers, liver fibrosis, or liver scarring.
Biliary colic is one of the symptoms of gallstones. Patients who suffer from frequent abdominal pains are those who have gallstones. Gallstones are hard lumps of the substance called bilirubin. People who have high cholesterol levels are also at risk for gallstones as the cholesterol in their bile will not dissolve properly and can actually get lodged in their bile ducts.
The symptoms mentioned above can be due to other conditions as well. It is therefore important to rule out any other conditions before concluding that one has developed liver disease. If you have any of these symptoms, it is better to consult your physician immediately. You may be required to change your diet and take prescribed medication to treat the condition.