Is Your Liver ‘Fat’?
The moment we hear that word, we don’t think positive, do we? Nobody likes being fat, or worst still, being called fat. Foods rich in fat are avoided, and any little extra bulge on our body is treated with utmost disdain, because it’s potential ‘fat’.
Going by the tone of it, we understand that fat isn’t good news.
That’s why, fat in the liver also doesn’t bring an array of good news either. As the name suggests, a fatty liver disease is one which occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver.
Now, you must be wondering what causes this fatty liver disease. If you love your booze, we must tell you that we might be bearers of disappointing news. The most common cause of getting a fatty liver disease is, you would have guessed it right, excessive consumption of alcohol.
But there are other reasons which may lead to fatty liver disease as well. Accumulation of fat in the liver for reasons apart from alcohol consumption is called Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
What causes nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?
- Intake of too much fructose (found in soft drinks in highly concentrated portion)
- Hyperglycemia or Type 2 Diabetes
- High concentration of triglycerides or other fats in blood
- Genetic factors
- Rapid weight loss
- Drug abuse or side effects of other medicines
What are the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Worst are the diseases which come without pain or other symptoms. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of them. But, get your liver checked if you notice or experience the listed signs.
- General discomfort
- Mild jaundice
- Abdominal swelling
- Swollen blood vessels under the skin
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Is nonalcoholic steatohepatitis a serious disease?
The liver is an extremely important organ of the body – it processes the nutrients from our food and removes impurities from the blood. A malfunction in the liver will affect our health hugely. If a diseased fatty liver is left untreated, it will keep swelling. This will lead to scarring and cirrhosis (loss of liver cells) in the liver which is an irreversible damage. When the same thing advances, it may eventually lead to liver cancer or liver failure. No liver, no life. So, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease should be caught early to ensure that you get the best treatment options.
After careful evaluation of blood test reports, imaging reports and biopsy reports, if you are diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, your treatment will proceed as follows:
First of all, since your liver is down, the doctor will advise you to take a few vaccinations like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B.
After your body has been secure of external invasion, you will need to bring in a lifestyle change. Ideally, you will have to lose 10% of your body weight through healthy diet and exercise.
Some medicines may be also prescribed. Antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to be useful.
For patients with serious damage, a transplantation may be an option. With advanced medical technologies, when performed by the right surgeon, a transplantation will yield the best results.
Your best option for reducing the chances of getting a fatty liver disease is to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Use prescribed medicines and limit taking medicines to the prescribed doses. There is little you can do beyond those.
About Sunshine Hospitals
A Multi-Super Speciality Institution, 500+ bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.