Liver disease: NHS Doctor talks about link with alcohol
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Fatty liver disease is characterised by high-fat levels in the liver. It is generally of two types, namely, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There are three symptoms most would overlook but are synonymous with the disease.
There are some simple everyday symptoms of fatty liver disease that we consider normal and overlook:
- Pain right beneath the ribs.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver can be easily be treated with a few lifestyle changes.
It is noteworthy that this condition does not have any medicine for its treatment.
Including more whole grains in your diet, eating more fibre and trying to get some exercise for weight loss are the biggest recommendations by doctors.
Doctors can also recommend medication to bring the situation under control.
Other health conditions increasing your risk include:
Extra weight around the belly
Family history of non-alcoholic fatty liver
High levels of fat in the body
Early-stage fatty liver disease does not have symptoms that allow it to be diagnosed, unless you have a test carried out screening for it.
There is no treatment for it outside of making healthy lifestyle choices that stop it from progressing to later stages.
Some treatments might focus on conditions associated with it, such as high cholesterol which can be treated with statins.
If you are concerned about the health of your liver, your GP may be able to give you advice.
Your GP will likely have blood tests done, including liver function tests and blood count tests.
In some cases, you may also have imaging tests, like those that check for fat in the liver and the stiffness of your liver. Liver stiffness can mean fibrosis, which is scarring of the liver.
Occasionally, you may also need a liver biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, and to check how bad the liver damage is.
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