Fatty liver disease symptoms include weakness

    Not all liver disease is caused by alcohol. Some forms of the condition can be caused by a build-up of fat over a long period of time. NAFLD, also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is one example. In common with other forms of the condition, it can cause a range of symptoms, one of which is myasthenia, also known as muscle weakness or lack of muscle strength, warns the NHS.

    The health body says that muscle weakness and three other symptoms can appear if the condition reaches the more advanced stages.

    Other symptoms of advanced NAFLD are:

    • Extreme tiredness
    • A dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy
    • Unexplained weight loss.

    If NAFLD develops further, a patient may experience a condition known as cirrhosis, a condition where the liver is scarred by long term damage.

    Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver include:
    • Yellowing of the skin
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
    • Itchy skin
    • Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or tummy.

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    The NHS says: “See a GP urgently or call 111 if you have any of these symptoms and have a liver condition.”

    Can it be treated?

    While the advanced stages of NAFLD and its symptoms can be unnerving, it is possible to stop the condition getting worse.

    The NHS says: “Most people with NAFLD will not develop any serious problems, but if you’re diagnosed with the condition it’s a good idea to take steps to stop it getting any worse.

    “There’s currently no specific medication for NAFLD, but making healthy lifestyle choices can help.


    “Treatment also may be recommended for associated conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol) or complications. You may be advised to have regular appointments with your doctor to check your liver function and look for signs of any new problems.”

    Examples of actions people can take to reduce their risk include losing weight, eating a healthier diet, having water instead of sweet drinks, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol content.

    Furthermore, doctors may try and treat NAFLD by treating problems associated with the condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

    READ MORE: Three drinks linked to an ‘extensive’ build-up of plaque in the veins

    Why you may be at increased risk

    Just as some risk factors can increase your likelihood of cancer, so too can they increase your risk of developing NAFLD.

    These include if you:
    • Are obese or overweight
    • Have type 2 diabetes
    • Have a condition which affects how the body uses insulin
    • Have an underactive thyroid
    • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
    • Have metabolic syndrome
    • Smoke
    • Are over the age of 50.

    Metabolic syndrome is a condition made up of three others, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

    Despite these risk factors, it is still possible to be diagnosed with NAFLD even if you don’t have any of them.

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