What Is Fatty Liver?

By Aashita Gupta, Team VOH

07 Oct,2017


What Is Fatty Liver?

As the name suggests, Fatty Liver is a disease that is characterised by excessive build- up of fat in the liver. Usually a liver is considered fatty, if the fat content is more than 10%. This can be seen at any age, but it commonly occurs in  middle aged people, especially if they have risk factors like diabetes and obesity.

 

Types of Fatty Liver

 

1. Alcoholic Fatty Liver 

 

As a result of reckless drinking, liver’s ability to function properly decreases. Alcohol Fatty Liver is an initial condition and can be reversed by completely cutting down on alcoholism. However, if one continues drinking large amounts of alcohol, there is repeated damage causing permanent scarring and a condition called cirrhosis.

 

2. Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver

 

People who are obese are more prone to suffer from this disease.   Fat build-up in some people over time can lead to inflammation or swelling. This can lead to a condition called NASH or Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis. However, due to genetic tendency, thin people can also be diagnosed with this condition.

 

3. Acute Fatty liver of Pregnancy

 

This is a rare complication of pregnancy that usually begins in the third trimester. Common symptoms include persistent nausea and vomiting, pain in the right upper abdomen, general fatigue and jaundice. This is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not treated in time.

 

Who are prone to Fatty Liver?

 

Apart from alcoholism, people exhibiting following are more likely to suffer from Fatty Liver:

  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Diabetes type II
  • Genetic inheritance: Certain genes make you prone to fat deposition in the liver
  • High cholesterol levels or hyperlipidemia

 

What are the symptoms?

 

Most people with fatty liver do not have any symptoms, especially in the early stages. In later stages, some people might have some symptoms like

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Confusion, poor judgment, or trouble concentrating

 

How is it diagnosed? 

 

Usually a fatty liver is diagnosed after an imaging test like an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan is done. Your doctor will also do routine blood and liver function tests.

 

What you can do? 

 

  • Avoid alcohol: You can completely curb Alcoholic Fatty Liver if it’s in the early stage by completely avoiding alcohol.
  • Lose weight: If you are obese, decreasing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity can help you loose weight and reduce fat content in the liver.
  • Regular exercise: Try and exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week.
  • Control your diabetes: Take your medications regularly and follow up with your doctor to keep your sugar under control.
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Healthy diet : Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains keeping track of your calories.

 

 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. 

 


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