Signs of Fatty Liver Disease Getting Worse
Whether you’re attending a wedding, a party with friends, or a Sunday service, alcohol consumption for those of legal age is relatively easily accessible. While dietary guidelines suggest no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks for men, many people drink more. In addition to other health risks associated with alcohol, drinking too much can cause fat to build up within your liver. This buildup can lead to fatty liver disease. What is it, and how do you know if it’s getting worse?
What is fatty liver disease?
The liver functions by removing toxins from the body and processes food nutrients. Alcohol can be extremely detrimental to your liver health — especially when consumed in large quantities. Over time, the fat from alcohol builds up, causing your liver not to function properly. When this is caused by alcoholism, it’s known as alcoholic steatohepatitis. When it’s not caused by alcoholism and occurs in someone who occasionally drinks excessively, it’s called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
What are the symptoms?
Most symptoms of fatty liver disease don’t occur until the progression of the disease has worsened. In fact, NASH can damage your liver for years or even decades without producing symptoms. As the disease worsens, the most common symptoms associated with alcoholic steatohepatitis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Fatty Liver Disease Complications
If left untreated, complications such as Cirrhosis can occur. Your liver becomes enlarged and works harder to eliminate toxins within the body. You may also experience:
Most of these conditions can also lead to death. Even if treatment is sought, there is a good chance that you will develop cirrhosis — which is caused when there is so much scar tissue, your liver is unable to function properly. Scarring from cirrhosis cannot be cured.
When to See a Doctor if Your Condition Worsens
If you drink alcohol and begin to produce any of the symptoms of fatty liver disease, you should abstain from drinking alcohol and schedule an appointment with your doctor. As you begin treating the disease, if you see your symptoms worsen or experience new symptoms, you should report changes to your doctor immediately. You may be required to make significant life changes, including:
- Losing weight
- Exercising more
- Taking medicine to lower cholesterol or triglycerides
- Taking medicine to lower blood pressure
- Never drinking alcohol
- Seeing a liver disease specialist
If you have fatty liver disease, let us help you.
At Pinnacle Research, we specialize in the exploration of disease. We work with over 70 referring physicians in San Antonio and Austin, providing clinical trials in liver disease.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you.