Liver disease: symptoms include fatigue – it can be ‘overwhelming’
Alcohol-related liver disease, or ARLD, is triggered by excessive alcohol consumption. There are three main stages of this condition which vary in severity and symptoms. A sign that could arouse suspicion can crop up in your daily life like fatigue.
“It’s a type of fatigue that emanates from the central nervous system, which can be so debilitating that it can even be difficult to raise your head from the pillow.”
This sign is also considered one of the “early” symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease, according to the British Liver Trust.
However, it can also indicate various liver problems.
Dr Lee said: “Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hepatitis, including alcohol-related hepatitis (ARLD) and viral hepatitis, and in advanced liver disease, due cirrhosis and hepatic failure.
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“It affects both mental and physical functions, so it can be very difficult to cope with day-to-day life.”
Another important thing to remember is that the degree of your fatigue does not necessarily depend on the severity of your liver damage.
The expert shared that people with mild hepatitis can suffer from intense fatigue while those with severe hepatitis can only struggle with mild fatigue – “there is no rhyme or reason”.
She added: “Fatigue can also be persistent or fluctuating.”
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It is also important to remember that many patients may have no symptoms, making the disease difficult to identify.
“[Around] 75% of patients who will eventually die from cirrhosis – which occurs in the natural progression of hepatitis – have no idea they even have liver disease,” Dr. Lee said.
The condition is often not detected until you are tested for other issues.
This is why the NHS recommends telling your GP if you regularly drink alcohol to excess.