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When someone has Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, there aren't any classic signs and symptoms simply because the disorder is a silent one. However, as the disease progresses, you may start to see many symptoms that affect the skin, brain and of course, the liver itself.
Fatigue is a symptom that could be seen in the beginning stages but this symptom is one of the ones that is never used as a clearcut symptom for any disease. There are hundreds of diseases that have fatigue as part of a whole list of symptoms.
As fatty liver disease progresses and more fat accumulates in the liver, more and more symptoms will begin to surface. Below is a list of some of them plus why they occur:
Loss of appetite - The liver cells are dying daily and the liver is losing its effectiveness at converting foods into energy as well as breaking them down.
Dark-colored urine - This occurs because pigments are being excreted at higher numbers than usual. Since the pigments are darker than the yellow coloring, the urine becomes dark.
Light-colored stool - This occurs because pigments are not processed as well by the liver.
Skin darkens - The pigments that are in greater number have to go somewhere so they are routed to the next large detoxification organ - the skin. The skin turns yellow and is called jaundiced.
Bruising - The factors needed for clotting in the blood to occur are not created in high enough numbers anymore and the capillaries become very fragile.
Nosebleeds - Similarly, capillaries become very fragile without necessary clotting factors.
Fevers - Infections are more likely to occur, which are usually accompanied by a fever.
Overall poor health - The patient feels lousy, looks lousy, and starts to wonder if he will make it.
Swelling in the abdomen - The blood in the body is rerouted since the liver cannot handle the circulation. The veins aren't working as they should and a pooling starts in the abdomen.
Lack of sex drive - Sex hormones are not made in normal amounts and start to decline.
In non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the patient must be proactive and stay on top of all the new habits that need to be initiated to reverse the disease before it progresses to the point of no return - kidney failure, coma and death.
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