- As Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease does not show any physical symptoms, here’s what to watch out for: belly fat, binge eating, hypertension, high LDL cholesterol count, confusion, tiredness, family history, abdominal pain, and Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis.
- Approximately 80 to 100 million people in the U.S. have Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
- If you think you have one of the signs, and your doctor agrees, ask for blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, scan or a liver biopsy.
Here’s a scary information: According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 80 to 100 million people in the U.S. have Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and is a worldwide leading cause of chronic liver disease.
You do not want to be part of the statistics, right? Read on.
What is fatty liver disease?
The American College of Gastroenterology defines nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as an accumulation of excess fat in liver cells, taking up to five to ten percent of the entire organ. And although excessive alcohol consumption is a primary cause of fatty liver, NAFLD patients do not drink that much alcohol. It can lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can result in irreversible scarring of the liver or liver cancer.
Blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, scan or a liver biopsy are used to determine whether you have NAFLD as it does not exhibit physical symptoms.
What are the 9 symptoms?
1. Belly Fat (Visceral Fat)
Nelly fat belly or visceral fat is the most visible sign as overweight people have more chances of having NAFLD. People who are overweight are at an increased risk of NAFLD.
Doctor Rohit Loomba, director of the NAFLD Research Center at the University of California at San Diego, cautions that “As the body mass index goes up and people go from a BMI of 30 to 35 to 40, the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease starts going up,” he says.
“We’re finding that the visceral fat correlates well with liver fat especially in middle-aged and younger adults.”
2. Binge Eating
Intense craving for sugars, feeling hungry all the time, and binge eating are the early signs of fatty liver. “If we consume excess calories, especially calories that are sugar-rich or carbohydrate-rich, over a long period of time, it will have negative consequences.” Keep a food log every day to check fat and sugar intake.
If you have hypertension or increased high blood pressure, you are three times more likely to have NAFLD. Having hypertension is a leading cause of death for NAFLD patients.
4. High LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) or the Bad Cholesterol
Eating foods high in saturated and trans fats releases more fat and raises cholesterol levels.
NAFLD does not exhibit physical symptoms and can be identified through liver biopsy or blood tests. When it has developed into cirrhosis, weakness and fatigue or tiredness is experienced. Do not wait until you experience this. Have a check up as early as possible.
6. Family History
In an ongoing study by Dr. Loomba and his colleagues on 25 families who have a history of NASH cirrhosis, they found that one is 13 times higher to be at risk if other family members have it. Some people may be genetically predisposed to develop the disease.
7. Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
In a 2016 study by Dr. Loomba and other UC-San Diego researchers, 65% of 100- type 2 diabetics had NAFLD without them knowing it. It is important to test for NAFLD if you have Type-2 diabetes.
8. Pain in the upper right abdomen
Pain just below the ribs on the right front is a symptom that shows up when NASH or cirrhosis have developed. Head to the emergency room when you experience pain accompanied with fever and chills.
If you become disoriented and confused, go to your doctor immediately as this is a sign that the disease has progressed. Your liver can no longer metabolize toxins and now flows into your bloodstream and into your brain.
Be on the lookout for these 9 symptoms and have a regular check up with your doctor.
Source: The Healthy