fatty liver disease Or steatosis is a common condition, in which there is an excessive amount of fat accumulating in the liver. While a healthy liver contains a certain level of fat, if the amount exceeds 5-10% of the liver’s weight, it can become a problem, says the Cleveland Clinic.
However, to maintain Liver health One must monitor the accumulation of fat in the organ.
Data reveal that 7% to 30% of people with this condition experience a worsening of symptoms over time. This may mean inflammation or swelling of the liver, the development of scar tissue – fibrosis, and finally extensive scar tissue, which can lead to cirrhosis.
While the specific cause of fatty liver disease is not specific, there are two main forms of the condition – alcohol-induced fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Types of fatty liver disease
Two types of fatty liver disease are:
Alcohol-related fatty liver disease (ARLD): Alcohol-related fatty liver disease is a condition caused by excessive alcohol consumption, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), ARLD may be reversed if one abstains from alcohol for at least two weeks.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): On the other hand, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people who do not drink much or not at all. It is associated with the accumulation of excess fat in the liver due to eating too many calories, or if they have underlying conditions such as Obesity, diabetes or high triglycerides.
Uncommon Symptoms of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
As far as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is concerned, it is caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver in most cases, the condition remains asymptomatic unless it progresses to a more serious stage.
But experts at the Cleveland Clinic believe that “itching” that gets worse in the evening or at night, especially on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, could signal fatty liver disease.
While according to the Baton Rouge Mayo Clinic Public Care Network, pruritus is rare in alcohol-related liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and it is more common with other types of liver disease including primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosis, cholangitis. Biliary tract (PSC) and intrahepatic cholestasis during pregnancy.
Why is that happening
Although scientists have not yet determined the cause of itching associated with liver disease, some experts believe it may be the result of several factors.
For example, people with liver disease are said to have higher levels of bile salt build up under the skin, which may be one of the causes of itching.
Another theory behind why people with liver disease itch is the presence of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme found in the blood that helps break down proteins in the body.
How to prevent itching associated with liver disease?
According to Baton Rouge General, here are some ways to help relieve itching and prevent skin irritation:
Choose a fragrance-free soap.
Use warm or cold water instead of hot water for baths and showers.
Apply a cool, wet compress to the itchy area to help resist the urge to scratch.
Avoid the sun or hot environments as much as possible.
Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows air to circulate.
Other symptoms of NAFLD to watch out for
According to the Mayo Clinic, NAFLD usually causes no signs and symptoms, but when it does one may experience fatigue, pain, and discomfort in the upper right abdomen.
Other signs include:
Enlarged blood vessels just below the surface of the skin
– red palm
How to reduce risks
Regardless of whether you have alcohol-related fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking are extremely important.
Make sure to choose a healthy diet, with more fruits and vegetables and less processed, oily foods.
Those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol should take appropriate measures and should have regular checkups.
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