Brown or orange urine could signal fatty liver disease

Liver disease: Doctor discusses causes and symptoms

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As the name suggests, fatty liver disease is caused by an excess of fat in the liver. Also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, it can have little impact in the early stages. However, as it progresses it can cause more damage to the liver, eventually resulting in noticeable symptoms.

The liver is one of our vital organs, responsible for more than 500 bodily functions.

Therefore, any issues with the liver can cause symptoms that affect various parts of the body.

In the most severe stage of fatty liver disease the, liver becomes shrivelled and scarred. This is known as cirrhosis.

The Cleveland Clinic explains: “Cirrhosis is a late-stage liver disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue and the liver is permanently damaged.

“Scar tissue keeps your liver from working properly.

“Many types of liver diseases and conditions injure healthy liver cells, causing cell death and inflammation.

“This is followed by cell repair and finally tissue scarring as a result of the repair process.

“The scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver and slows the liver’s ability to process nutrients, hormones, drugs and natural toxins (poisons).

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“It also reduces the production of proteins and other substances made by the liver.

“Cirrhosis eventually keeps the liver from working properly. Late-stage cirrhosis is life-threatening.”

Cirrhosis can present in a variety of ways. One symptom of cirrhosis will become noticeable when you go to the toilet.

The clinic lists a “brownish or orange colour to your urine” as one of the symptoms of late-stage cirrhosis.

This occurs when too much bilirubin (a substance made during the process of breaking down old red blood cells) builds up because the liver isn’t breaking it down normally.

If you notice this it is worth speaking to your GP.

Common early-stage symptoms of cirrhosis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Unexpected weight loss.

If it worsens it can cause:

  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling in your legs, feet and ankles
  • Fluid build-up in your belly
  • Light-coloured stools.
  • Confusion, difficulty thinking, memory loss, personality changes
  • Blood in your stool
  • Redness in the palms of your hands
  • Spider-like blood vessels that surround small, red spots on your skin.

It is also likely you will experience pain with around 80 percent of cirrhosis patients experiencing it.

“Most people with liver disease report abdominal pain,” the Cleveland Clinic adds.

“Pain in your liver itself can feel like a dull throbbing pain or a stabbing sensation in your right upper abdomen just under your ribs.”

If you are concerned that you could have cirrhosis or fatty liver disease you should see your GP.

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