Your liver is a powerhouse. It’s the second largest organ in your body and works hard to filter out toxins in your body. Your liver also plays a key role in how you digest food, and it helps you to get all the nutrients your body needs out of what you eat and drink. But your liver could be in peril.

Approximately 25% of the people living in the United States have fatty liver disease, warns the American Liver Foundation. Shockingly, this number includes many people who have zero risk factors. In fact, it can be five or ten years before people even notice that their liver is acting up! Most of the symptoms of a fatty liver are often ignored or overlooked because they don’t seem to important. They can be, though, and we’re talking about that in this article!

So if you’re experiencing one of the five following warning signs, you too could be one of the millions of individuals who have fatty liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about whether or not your liver health is being compromised or if you experience these symptoms

1. Weakness and Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue affects more people than many forms of chronic disease, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When trying to figure out the underlying cause, many doctors and naturopaths immediately turn to the liver.

Your liver is one of the main organs responsible for converting the glucose in your food into glycogen. Your body uses glycogen to fuel your muscles. A healthy liver maintains a steady flow of glycogen throughout the day to keep your body energized and help you to respond to sudden stimuli.

But when you have fatty liver disease, your liver’s efficacy is compromised. Suddenly, the organ responsible for fueling your day can no longer do its job. Your liver may struggle with converting glucose into glycogen, or it may not be able to release glycogen at a steady and reliable rate.

When that happens, you may experience chronic fatigue and tiredness no matter how much sleep or rest you get.

2. Abdominal Pain

Your liver sits around the lower right side of your ribs. While every liver has some fat cells in it, fatty liver disease is when more than 5-10% of the liver is made up of fat. This can lead to swelling and enlargement of the liver, which can in turn cause pain.


For some people, fatty liver disease pain feels like a dull ache on the top right of their stomach. For other people, it can feel like a sharper twist. Because it can be hard for our brain to pinpoint where internal pain is coming from, sometimes the pain can seem to radiate outward and you may feel it in your back.

3. Skin and Weight Loss Problems

Rapid weight loss and yellowing skin (also known as jaundice) are quite common in people who have a compromised liver. That’s because an unhealthy liver that has undiagnosed fatty liver disease is not able to get all the nutrients out of your food. It also cannot filter out all the toxins in your body properly.

Even if you’re eating a regular amount of food, this means your body is now not getting all the vitamins and minerals it was once receiving. Your body may then shed weight at a rapid, unhealthy rate.

Usually, this symptom appears in the more advanced states of the condition and most people suffering from  NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver) never experience it. In most cases, obesity is the main warning sign.

Fatty liver disease can also indirectly provoke malnutrition. For example, the disease and the related fatigue and pain may cause you to lose your appetite. In some people, this creates a vicious cycle.

4. Bloating and Swelling

Fluid buildup in your legs, ankles and abdomen may be another sign that your liver isn’t functioning well. This bloating is also known as ascites, and fatty liver disease is one of the most common causes of this type of swelling.


Researchers are still studying exactly what the link is between a fatty liver and bloating, but the current theory is that the swelling of the liver causes a pressure imbalance in your abdominal cavity. This can create a backlog of blood and fluids.

5. Confusion and Nausea

The longer your liver is afflicted, the more your general wellbeing is affected. A fatty liver can cause chronic nausea, and many people with fatty liver disease experience a “mental fog” and mental confusion because the liver isn’t removing unhealthy substances from the bloodstream.

Should You Be Worried?

Talk to your doctor today if you’re concerned about fatty liver disease. People can live with fatty liver disease for years, but if it’s left untreated, it can get progressively worse and trigger other health problems that create a snowball effect in your body. Fortunately, a fatty liver is completely reversible with the right diet, as we learn on Fatty Liver Diary.

Take charge of your liver health today and restore your energy, well being and appetite before it’s too late.


  1. Very informative post. I’d been suffering from liver disease since few months and brought some changes to my diet which really helped.

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