Non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) is a life-threatening disease characterized by a build-up of fat in the liver. It is closely linked to markers of chronic disease, such as obesity and high blood sugar. Pain in these four areas of the body could indicate your risk.
The job of the liver is to detoxify and help eliminate waste and convert food into nutritional products that the body needs.
If the liver is affected by any disease, these processes are not carried out effectively.
This means that your body will respond by showing signs of toxicity.
Associated symptoms of liver pain may include:
- Yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes
- Dark and brownish urine
- Swelling of the ankles or legs
- Itchy skin
- Loss of appetite
Sometimes the pain felt in the same general area of the liver is actually caused by problems with the gallbladder, pancreas, or kidneys.
This is why it is essential to talk to your healthcare professional about the possible cause.
Reducing or refraining from consuming alcohol will also help relieve symptoms.
Fatty liver disease is still a relatively unknown disease, and more information about liver disease including what triggers it and how best to treat it is still being investigated.
Can I reduce my risk?
Experts aren’t sure exactly why some people accumulate fat in the liver, while others don’t.
However, markers of chronic disease have been linked to the risk of fatty liver disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:
Overweight or obese
Insulin resistance, in which your cells do not absorb sugar in response to the hormone insulin
High level of sugar in the blood (hyperglycaemia), indicating prediabetes or type 2 diabetes
High levels of fats, especially triglycerides, in the blood.
“These combined health issues appear to promote the deposition of fat in the liver,” says the Mayo Clinic.