Monkeypox: Health agency urges people to look out for symptoms
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
The NHS explains early-stage NAFLD does not usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse. The Cleveland Clinic says: “Cirrhosis of the liver is a result of severe damage to the liver. The hard scar tissue that replaces healthy liver tissue slows down the liver’s functioning. Eventually, it can block liver function entirely. Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.”
The Cleveland Clinic says people with fatty liver disease often have no symptoms until the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver.
It says if you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen
- Nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss
- Yellowish skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Swollen abdomen and legs (oedema)
- Extreme tiredness or mental confusion
The NHS says cirrhosis is “the most severe stage” of NAFLD occurring after years of inflammation. (Image: GETTY)
The NHS adds: “There are not usually any symptoms of NAFLD in the early stages. You probably will not know you have it unless it’s diagnosed during tests carried out for another reason.”
It 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.
The condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy, the health body says.
“This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body,” it states.
Your liver may keep working even when you have cirrhosis. However, cirrhosis can eventually lead to liver failure, and you can get serious complications, which can be life threatening, according to the health body.
The NHS warns that if you develop severe cirrhosis and your liver stops working properly, you may need to be put on the waiting list for a liver transplant.
“Or it may be possible to have a transplant using a section of liver removed from a living donor,” explains the health body.
It adds: “As the liver can regenerate itself, both the transplanted section and the remaining section of the donor’s liver are able to regrow to a normal size.”
The NHS says if cirrhosis gets worse, some of the symptoms and complications include:
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Vomiting blood
- Itchy skin
- Dark pee and tarry-looking poo
- Bleeding or bruising easily
- Swollen legs (oedema) or tummy (ascites) from a build-up of fluid
- Loss of sex drive (libido)
The health body advises that people see a GP if they think they may have cirrhosis.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cirrhosis. (Image: GETTY)
The Mayo Clinic says that risk factors include:
- Drinking too much alcohol . Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cirrhosis.
- Being overweight. Being obese increases your risk of conditions that may lead to cirrhosis, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
- Having viral hepatitis. Not everyone with chronic hepatitis will develop cirrhosis, but it’s one of the world’s leading causes of liver disease.
It states: “If you’re concerned about your risk of liver cirrhosis, talk to your doctor about ways you can reduce your risk.”
- Fatty liver disease: Signs of liver damage from alcohol
- Fatty liver disease symptoms: The signs of alcohol damage
- Fatty liver disease: The ‘lesser-known’ sign in your fingers
- Fatty liver disease: Your abdomen could unveil the condition
- Alcohol related fatty liver disease: The six early stage symptoms