Fatty liver disease: Pain, fatigue or oedema among the symptoms of irreversible damage
Fatty liver disease rarely causes any symptoms, but it’s an important warning sign that you’re drinking at a harmful level. What are the indications found on the body warning your liver damage is irreversible?
All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver.
The liver processes this blood and breaks down, balances, and creates the nutrients and also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body or that are nontoxic.
Once damage begins, it can take a long time to become noticeable, as the liver is generally highly effective at regenerating and repairing itself.
Often, by the time the damage is found, it is irreversible.
According to Healthline, signs of irreversible liver damage may include:
- Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
- Fatigue or weakness
- Weight loss
- Fluid and swelling in the stomach (ascites) and legs (oedema)
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Cirrhosis damage is irreversible, but the patient can prevent further damage by continuing to avoid alcohol, said Medical News Today.
The health site added: “Life-long abstinence can improve liver function, but the permanent and severe damage from cirrhosis might mean that the patient needs a liver transplant to survive.
“As the liver no longer processes toxins properly, it will be more sensitive to medications and alcohol. Alcohol use speeds up the destruction of the liver, along with reducing the liver’s ability to compensate for the current damage.”
The NHS elaborated by stating cirrhosis of the liver is known as “end-stage liver disease”.
A diagnosis involves blood tests, scans, and a liver biopsy; if cirrhosis is found, you will be referred to a hepatologist.
There is no cure for extensive liver damage, and treatment will focus on managing symptoms and slowing down its progression.
Lifestyle changes will be needed to help prevent liver failure.
The national health service said: “There are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chances of further problems and complications.”
Examples include avoiding the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and losing weight.
It is important to practise regular exercise to help manage fatty liver disease.
Dietary adjustments will also be beneficial, such as cutting down on salt.
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