What Are Fatty Liver Symptoms?

In the early stages of this disease, fatty liver symptoms can be anywhere from nonexistent to hardly noticed at all by the sufferer. It can be years or even decades before you notice any symptoms.

When you do start to notice symptoms, it may simply be a dull ache just below the ribcage on your right side. It is not an intense or severe pain like gallstones produce.

Since insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus Type 2 are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), many of the symptoms are the same.

  • Abdominal obesity
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the eye
  • Kidney failure
  • Coronary artery heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • And dark pigmentation of the skin in the armpits and on the neck.

In addition to these, sufferers of NAFLD may also experience

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or loss of their appetite
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • And an enlarged liver

When large amounts of fat build up in your liver, it can become very large with a rounded edge. This is what your doctor will feel for when he or she does an abdominal examine.

If cirrhosis develops (the third stage of NAFLD), which usually develops after the age of 50 and after many years of NASH (the second stage of NAFLD), you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Large and hardened liver
  • Star shaped blood vessels on the skin of your upper torso
  • Blotchy redness of your palms
  • Whitened nails
  • Thin silky hair
  • Loss of body hair
  • Prominent veins on your abdomen
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Small testes
  • Enlarge and painful breast in men
  • Swelling of your legs
  • Accumulation of fluid in your abdomen
  • Internal bleeding and bleeding in your esophagus
  • Muscle wasting
  • Jaundice
  • Mental confusion
  • And liver failure.

If you get regular, routine checkups, your doctor should catch NAFLD before it reaches the NASH or cirrhosis stages. Your doctor will notice that your liver is slightly enlarged, or see signs of the disease on your blood test.

In summary, you can have fatty liver disease for many years before you experience any symptoms. Your doctor should be able to diagnose this disease in it early stage, if you undergo frequent physical examines. However, if you experience some of the more serious symptoms of this disease, see your doctor immediately.

If you think that you have fatty liver, review the dietary suggestions on the Fatty Liver Diet page, and consider lecithin and chromium supplements as discussed on the Liver Supplements page.


MedicineNet – Symptoms of NAFLD and NASH

WebMD – Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

ScienceDaily: Liver Disease News