Fatty liver disease: Three signs on your skin – potentially life threatening condition

Dr Michael Mosley's radical new dieting approach

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

A healthy liver should contain little or no fat, though the NHS estimates up to one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD, where there are small amounts of fat in their liver. Although the condition is often marked by an absence of symptoms, there are certain signs to look out for.

Healthline warns some people with fatty liver disease develop complications, including liver scarring.

This is known as liver fibrosis and if you develop severe liver fibrosis it’s known as cirrhosis, “a potentially life threatening condition that can cause liver failure”.

The health site warns liver damage due to cirrhosis is permanent, which is why it is important to prevent it from developing in the first place.

It notes several cirrhosis signs may occur on your skin. These include itchy skin, yellow skin and easy bruising.

Indeed, the Cleveland Clinic warns the symptoms of fatty liver disease often do not show until the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver.

The organisation says if you do have symptoms, they may include abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen.

It notes you may also experience nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss. Other people will develop jaundice, or a swollen abdomen and legs, have extreme tiredness or mental confusion and weakness.

People with a liver condition who develop dark black tarry faeces, or dark urine, should seek “urgent medical attention”, according to the British Liver Trust.

Other serious symptoms include vomiting blood, bruising easily, itching skin and swelling of the lower tummy area.

The American Liver Foundation says if more than five to 10 percent of the liver’s weight is fat, then it is called a fatty liver.

Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of other health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

The Mayo Clinic says you should make an appointment with your doctor if you have persistent signs and symptoms that cause you concern.

If you develop severe cirrhosis, stage four fatty liver disease, and your liver stops working properly, you may need to be put on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

There’s not currently any medicine that can treat NAFLD, but various medicines can be useful in managing the problems associated with the condition.

If detected and managed at an early stage, NAFLD can be stopped from getting worse and the amount of fat in your liver can be reduced.

The NHS explains: “NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.”

But blood tests do not always pick up NAFLD. As the NHS explains, the condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy.

According to the British Liver Trust, people are more likely to develop fatty liver disease for a number of reasons.

This can include if they have an unhealthy diet or their weight is in the overweight or obese range.

Source: Read Full Article