Fatty liver disease: ‘less known’ signs include finger clubbing – ‘Consult your GP’
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic disease caused by too much fat stored in liver cells,” said Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy. Triggered by too much fat in the organ, NAFLD is associated with conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
When it comes to spotting the culprit, the early stages of fatty liver disease usually don’t have many warning signs.
However, as the disease progresses, your body may sound the alarm.
Dr Lee shared that a “lesser known” sign could be clubbing.
She explained that this symptom indicates chronic liver disease and “may not be recognized.”
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She detailed: “Clubbing fingers [describes] widening of the fingertips and nails curved downwards.
Mount Sinai Health System adds the telltale signs that may reveal this sign:
- The nail bed softens. Nails may appear to “float” instead of being firmly attached
- The nails forming a more acute angle with the cuticle
- The last part of the finger appearing wide or rounded. It can also be hot and red
- The nail curves down to look like the round part of an upside-down spoon.
- The Health Portal explains that clubbing can develop quickly, even within weeks.
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Fortunately, this problem can also be solved “quickly” when the cause is detected and treated.
When it comes to fatty liver, clubbing indicates cirrhosis, also known as the “most severe” stage of NAFLD.
During this stage, your liver shrinks and becomes scarred and lumpy, explains the NHS.
The health body warns that this damage is permanent and can even trigger liver failure or cancer.
Additionally, the NHS notes that lifestyle changes can help prevent NAFLD from getting worse.
Dr Lee said: “A lot can be achieved by improving lifestyle factors – eating healthy, exercising regularly and reducing alcohol to recommended limits.
“The Mediterranean diet is recommended. This is a diet high in lean meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, unsaturated vegetable fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil, and large amounts of fruit. and fresh vegetables rich in antioxidants.
“[Also] make sure you eat plenty of fiber.