High levels of fat in the liver present significant health risks, and many of these risks fall under the umbrella of fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease is associated with a host of health conditions, such as obesity and high blood pressure. The condition is characterized by a number of stages, and symptoms are often associated with the advanced stage.
According to the British Liver Trust, most people with mild fatty liver disease are unlikely to notice any symptoms.
And for those who develop NASH – a more serious condition that may cause liver scarring and can progress to cirrhosis – serious symptoms may develop, BTL warns.
The report warns that “internal bleeding from liver damage is often first noticed in very dark or black tarry stools (malena) and vomiting blood (haematemesis).”
Other serious signs include:
Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).
Swelling in the lower abdomen (ascites).
Dark black tar stools.
• Periods of confusion or poor memory (encephalopathy).
How is the condition treated?
There is currently no specific treatment for fatty liver disease, and a lot of research is underway to try to find a cure.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can help stop symptoms getting worse.
One of the most effective countermeasures against fatty liver disease is weight loss. And you must aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Key nutritional tips include:
Choose whole-grain carbohydrates (such as bread, rice, and pasta) that are rich in fiber.
Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar.
Eat more vegetables and fruits.
Eat less saturated fat.
Watch your portion sizes, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Some studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet may also reduce fat in the liver.
This nutrition plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, replacing butter with olive or canola oil, limiting red meat and eating more fish and lean poultry.