Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms: Five Signs You Might Be Missing

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is “a term for a range of conditions caused by an accumulation of fat in the liver”, states the NHS. Cases of NAFLD, like other conditions, are increasing worldwide, especially in Western countries. There are five key signs and symptoms to look out for that could indicate the presence of a condition known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, for short. The earlier these symptoms are spotted, the sooner they can be treated.

Symptoms of NASH, a condition that can develop alongside NAFLD, include:
• Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
• Enlarged blood vessels just below the surface of the skin
• Enlarged spleen
• Abdominal swelling
• Red palm trees

In addition to NAFLD, these symptoms can also be a sign of advanced scarring; also known as cirrhosis.

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In the UK, NAFLD is estimated to affect millions of people.

It is estimated that a third of the population shows early symptoms of the disease.

The NHS says “early-stage NAFLD usually causes no harm”.

However, just like other conditions, if the condition is allowed to get worse, it can lead to serious health issues.


Although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, if it is a more advanced medicine, it can be used to manage the side effects of the disease.

If there is severe cirrhosis of your liver and the organ stops working properly, a transplant may be recommended.

For some this may require an entire transplant, while for others only part of the liver may need to be removed.

Fortunately, since the liver can grow back, it should return to its normal size after the operation.

There are a number of factors that will increase the risk of developing NAFLD.

Weight will be a major factor, as will whether or not a person has a habit of smoking.

People over 50 are also at higher risk, as are those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

People with metabolic syndrome, a condition that combines diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, are also at higher risk of developing NAFLD.

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