Aug 032012

You may be wondering what the symptoms are for fatty liver disease.

The fact is there usually aren’t any. This is a disease that is insidious and people who have it are often unaware of the problem until serious symptoms occur, if ever. A very common health problem, it is estimated that around 20% of all adults in the United States have this condition.

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

Here are a few symptoms that have been noted in this disease:

  • Fatigue – Some people with fatty liver disease are unusually tired
  • Unexplained weight loss – You may experience weight loss even if you aren’t dieting
  • Pain in the upper right hand side
  • Nausea
  • Patchy darkened skin areas, usually on your neck or underarms

fatty liver disease painMany people who have the nonalcoholic form of the disease never suffer any ill effects, while others do. In its advanced stages, you might have these symptoms:

  • Tarry stools
  • Fluid build up in your stomach, feet and legs
  • Jaundice, which is yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin
  • A feeling of malaise, or nonspecific not feeling well
  • Mental confusion
  • Increased bruising

(Web MD)

Any manifestation of these symptoms and you should not waste any time getting to a doctor. If you are experiencing any of the first group of symptoms, you should also see a doctor since any of them could signal a potentially serious health concern, even if not a liver problem.

This is particularly true of pain in your upper right side, which is where your liver and gallbladder are both located.

What Tests are Done to Diagnose Fatty Liver Disease?

There are several diagnostic tests that may be performed to identify this condition. Your doctor might want you to have one or all of them, depending on the findings. Sometimes one test will show something that another test didn’t. For example, a liver biopsy furnishes an actual piece of the liver for examination.

Here are the current tests being done to diagnose this disease:

Blood work may be drawn. It will show if there are elevations in liver enzymes, which can include alanine aminotransferase, or ALT, and aspartate aminotransferase, or AST.

Imaging tests. This can be an MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or a CT scan, which is computerized tomography. Sometimes, the doctor will want an ultrasound of the liver, also.

Liver Biopsy. This one is the only test that can definitely and conclusively diagnose the disease. A long needle is inserted through the abdominal wall into your liver and a little piece of liver tissue is removed and then examined under a microscope.

Depending on your doctor and your resources – whether or not you have insurance, for instance – you might opt for skipping the first two diagnostic tests and going straight for the liver biopsy that gets right to the heart of the matter with a definite diagnosis right away.

If in doubt about whether or not you have fatty liver disease, it is best to go ahead and consult a doctor about it, just to be on the safe side.

If you are diagnosed with it, there are homeopathic treatments that have proven effective in many people at treating, and even reversing, the course of the disease. You can also try a special and effective liver cleansing diet that will reverse the disease if followed properly.

 Posted by at 9:51 pm

  15 Responses to “What are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?”

  1. My dr. suggest for me HBsAG and Anti HCV test, can I do it?

  2. I have a pain similar to someone pushing their fingers in to me,its just under my rib cage, right hand side, it comes and goes. I also have a ‘full’ feeling under my ribs when i sit down, i feel light headed and headachy and like pressure is building up in my head and neck. It is relieved when i am lying down or upright. My waist measurement as gone up. I feel tired all the time, have no energy and get disorientated quite often and have a ‘fuzzy’ head most days. I do have heart disease and type 2 diabetes which are both under control. Blood tests and scan for gallstones showed up a slightly fatty liver 2 yrs ago. I had my gallbladder removed and i have been reasonably healthy since. The doctor didnt seem too concerned about my liver at my last health check. I try to eat healthy but recently have let that slip. This article was very informative

  3. I was told about a year age that I had a Fatty Liver by my Doctor, I thought nothing of it thinking all well.
    I kick myself in the you know what for not researching this condition and I wish my Doctor would have told me the seriousness of this condition. With that said I also have the pain in my right side with severe right lower back pain. Is this normal? I have had test done for Kidney stones and nothing. I have a CT scan with contras Friday to make sure nothing else is going on there.

    • That’s the problem with this disease – it sneaks up on you slowly, so it’s hard to change your lifestyle, thinking “Oh, I’ll start tomorrow.” Fortunately, the liver is one of the toughest organs in the body – it has to be, it filters out all the poisons and toxins that enter your body – but years of neglect wear on it. It’s not too late to start.

      • Thank you Greg for your comments. I am really hitting this exercising and eating right REALLY HARD!!! I am watching my calorie intake at 1800, eating salads, I just ran 2 miles , it feels great. I do have a question, I have started taking an OTC supplement call Liver Aid, what is your option about Liver supplements and if you could recommend any other supplement? Thanks


  4. i have had many tests, including a lot of blood work and yesterday an extensive MRI. still uncertain as to the results, I have had two high liver enzymes test?

  5. Hi
    I recently been diagnosed with simple fatty liver disease . I’m very upset and don’t know what to do apart from excersice and diet which I have been doing anyway for past 2 years . My doctor didn’t say much just excersice and diet and not to worry abt it. But I’m having this dull pain right upper quardrant of my body and at the back under neath the shoulder blade. My question is can ultrasound show the differnce between simple fatty liver and severe form of liver disease like Nash ?. My doctor just found it whilst they were doing ultrasound for something like muscular pain.

    • You should definitely ask your doctor for more testing. Pain shouldn’t be ignored. An ultrasound will measure roughly the amount of total fat to liver size/weight.

  6. And sorry forgot to ask and I’m alooking taking supplements like vitamin C, biotin for hair and folic acid and ask my doctor abt these which she didn’t say much and said it’s fine to take these.

    • I take biotin and C in with my regimen and have been fine so far. Like you I had my doctor’s approval just in case. Good luck!

    • I too have fatty liver. The best thing is to cut back on alcohol if you drink. Eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower, and kale. Stay away from red meats. Drink green tea. Eat apples. As far as supplements, take milk thistle, b vitamins, and tumeric. Also coffee has a ton of antioxidants that are good for the heart and the liver.

      • Good thoughts, Scott. Personally, I still eat red meat, as well as poultry (very little pork; just my preference.) It’s a YMMV situation. Thanks for your input. Greg

  7. I have fatty liver disease, gall stones, celiac disease, joint pain & swelling. I have tried eating healthy, not really big on fruits & vegetables but I did try! Now I am making a bigger effort since that pretty much all I can eat with some exceptions (limited protein)! My question is everyone says pain in the right side,although I feel little pain in my right side I feel it worse in my left side below the rib cage! Do you know why this might be? And Thank You for this page, it is helpful & educating! An in the manner You are doing this to help others, You are to be commended!

    • Honestly, it could be anything…what does your doctor have to say? Even the right-side pain may or may not be your NAFLD. You have a constellation of issues – these tend to feed on one another. As you start attacking one at a time it sort of has a domino effect. All these systems begin to affect one another positively just as they all began to affect one another negatively when you were on the wrong track health and nutrition-wise.

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