Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a medical term covering a spectrum of conditions resulting from an excessive accumulation of fat in the liver, often linked to being overweight or obese.
While early-stage NAFLD is often harmless, it can metamorphose into severe liver damage, including cirrhosis, if left unchecked, warns the NHS website.
Additionally, having a fatty liver can open the floodgates to major health complications such as hypertension and diabetes.
According to the British Liver Trust, nearly one-fifth of the UK population may be living with NAFLD, with about five percent grappling with the advanced stage known as NASH, which indicates some level of liver scarring.
NAFLD can reveal itself through several symptoms, including skin conditions such as jaundice, where the skin and eyes acquire a yellowish tint, bruising and itching.
Other signs include unusually dark urine, swelling in the abdomen, vomiting blood, dark and sticky stools, and episodes of confusion.
To control and manage NAFLD, adopting a healthy lifestyle is key. NHS guidance suggests losing excess weight, embracing a healthier diet, and regular exercise as the mainstay of an effective NAFLD management plan.
Although NAFLD is not a consequence of alcohol consumption, drinking can exacerbate the condition.
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