Our liver works tirelessly day in and day out to keep us healthy, but many of us don’t return the favor. Worse yet, when our liver becomes sick, the symptoms aren’t as obvious, so they often are overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Fatty liver disease is a rising disease in America. As fat permeates the liver, it makes it sick and reduces its ability to function. If left untreated, fatty liver disease can progress into cirrhosis, which is irreversible and requires a liver transplant to treat.
To prevent fatty liver disease from progressing to the point where treatments are no longer successful, it’s important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease early on.
Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
Fatigue: Fatigue is a broad symptom that can be related to a slew of conditions. You may experience tiredness, weakness, poor concentration, energy loss, and difficulties making good judgments. It’s important to pay close attention to other symptoms that accompany fatigue because, as mentioned, fatigue is a common symptom linked to several other conditions ranging in severity.
Obesity: The biggest risk factor for fatty liver disease is obesity. In fact, it can increase our risk of fatty liver disease by 75 percent. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are good ways to reduce excess weight, reducing your risk of fatty liver disease.
Urine color changes: Healthy urine is a pale yellow, but urine color in those with a liver problem is unusually dark, regardless of hydration level. This is because toxins, fats, and oils that your liver normally processes being passing through your liver.
You become a binge-eater: Eating more than usual? That could be a sign of a sick liver. You will feel hungry all the time and you will often reach for junk food as you begin to crave sugars. In turn, this promotes fatty liver disease.
High cholesterol: Higher levels of cholesterol may be a higher risk of heart disease, but are also indicative of a fatty liver, as your liver produces cholesterol that is released in the blood. It’s important that you cut back on cholesterol-rich foods so to not raise your levels higher.
Diabetes: Having diabetes increases your risk of fatty liver disease. It may be difficult for diabetics to notice symptoms related to a sick liver, so an ultrasound is required for proper diagnosis.