“Broadly, there are two types of fatty liver disease: alcohol related fatty liver disease (ARLD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),” said Dr Ameet Dhar and Dr Nowlan Selvapatt, Consultant Hepatologists at The Wellington Hospital and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The experts shared the tell-tale signs of the later condition, which details the build-up of fat in your liver.
They said: “Many people don’t experience any symptoms of fatty liver.
“Even at the most advanced stages of disease many patients have no symptoms.”
However, once non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progresses, symptoms can crop up.
As this condition develops in four main stages, the later stages, such as cirrhosis, can present with symptoms.
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“If NAFLD reaches the most critical stage, cirrhosis, more serious and obvious symptoms can occur,” the experts said.
These “severe” symptoms can also show up when you go to the toilet.
The doctors explained that the loo symptoms to watch out for include dark coloured urine and black or tarry stools.
Darker pee points to a bigger underlying symptom that indicates cirrhosis – jaundice.
They said: “If you experience any of the symptoms listed above or if you have abnormal liver blood tests, you should seek medical advice from your doctor who will be able to make a referral for further tests, such as an ultrasound of your liver.”
The medical professional will also decide if a fibroscan is necessary.
Fibroscan describes a dedicated liver scan, similar to ultrasound, which helps to identify the risk of scarring.
During cirrhosis, your liver may become scarred and lumpy, causing the organ to suffer permanent damage.
Fortunately, it can take years before this severe stage develops, the NHS adds.