Fatty liver disease: Feeling confused could signal the onset of liver failure – symptoms

Liver disease: Doctor discusses causes and symptoms

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A healthy liver should only contain a small amount of fat. Once the substance makes up five to 10 percent of the organ, it becomes a “problem”. Suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can also hike your risk of conditions, ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure.

The early stages of fatty liver disease don’t usually pose any harm, according to the NHS.

However, once the condition progresses, it can get as serious as a liver failure, which might leave you in need of a liver transplant.

As the condition develops into the later stages so do the symptoms, ringing the alarming bells.

One of them includes feeling confused, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Confusion is one of the warning signs of cirrhosis and it can be also accompanied by drowsiness and slurred speech, the Mayo Clinic adds.

Cirrhosis details the “most severe stage” of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It usually happens after years of live inflammation, during which the liver shrinks.

As a result, the organ becomes scarred and lumpy, the NHS reports.

Unfortunately, the damage sustained by cirrhosis is permanent and can even lead to liver failure.

Other warning signs of this stage can include:

  • Fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Swelling of veins in your oesophagus (tub connecting your mouth to your stomach) that can rupture and bleed
  • Muscle wasting
  • Jaundice
  • Liver cancer.

The NHS urges everyone to see a GP urgently or call 111 if they experience these symptoms.

The good news is that only five to 12 percent of people with fatty liver disease progress to cirrhosis.

Plus, it can take years for this stage to develop. So, taking up effective lifestyle changes could help prevent this, the NHS advises.

The three main pillars of a healthy liver include the usual suspects – healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

The Mayo Clinic recommends opting for a diet packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

The NHS adds that while NAFLD isn’t triggered by alcohol, drinking can make it worse. So, cutting down on this front is also “advisable”.

Although cirrhosis can occur as a part of this condition, there are earlier stages that could help you spot the warning signs sooner.

Before you reach cirrhosis, there are three other stages including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis.

People with NASH or fibrosis may experience symptoms such as:

  • Dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right side of the ribs)
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness.

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