Fatty liver disease symptoms: Itchy skin may mean you have the troublesome condition

NHS Choices: Liver Disease

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By the time NASH occurs, there’s no doubt that the liver is damaged. There are tell-tale signs the condition has entered this troublesome stage of development – what are they? As certified by John Hopkins Medicine, a long-lasting itch could creep its way into your everyday life. Other worrisome symptoms include spider-like blood vessels showing up on the skin, or if there’s a yellow tinge that wasn’t there before.

Yellowing of the skin is known as jaundice, and it can affect the whites of the eyes.

A person with NASH may become very tired and feel weak; unexplained weight loss might also occur.

Obesity has been strongly linked to NASH, especially those who are overweight and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes.

A routine blood test can check the state of your liver, which can be arranged by your GP.

MRI scans can further diagnose the condition, and scar tissue may be highlighted.

Scarring of the liver is known as cirrhosis, which can lead to symptoms of its own.

For example, cirrhosis can cause people to have fluid retention, internal bleeding, muscle wasting, and can lead to feelings of confusion.

People with cirrhosis may develop liver failure, which will require a liver transplant.

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If you recognise any of the early warning signs of NASH, or if you’d like to minimise the risk of liver damage, there are things you can do.

To begin with, it’s imperative to lose weight, which can be easier said than done.

The overall rule is that one must consistently burn off more calories than they consume to shift the pounds.

Exercise can be seen as a magic bullet, because it can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol levels and control diabetes – all things that need to be done to reverse or prevent NASH.

In addition, it’d be helpful not to consume alcohol, enabling the liver to repair itself undisturbed.

There’s no medication available to reverse the fat build-up in the liver, but if you’re on medication for high cholesterol and/or diabetes, it’s important to keep taking them.

Keeping on top of other health conditions you may currently have can help prevent your health from getting worse.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends further guidance for treating and preventing NASH.

The NIDDK recommend eating a healthy diet, limiting your portion sizes, and maintaining a healthy weight.

In terms of a healthy diet, one must reduce their intake of saturated and trans fats.

Examples include:

  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Doughnuts

Instead, replace these unhealthy fats with more helpful fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Examples include:

  • Canola oil
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds

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