Fatty liver

Fatty liver disease or FLD is one of the many types of health-related problems faced by people today from all walks of life. This is one type of disease that many people do not realize that they have contracted as it is usually derived from the normal food intake. However, unlike certain types of diseases, FLD is a reversible condition. It happens when there are large vacuoles of triglyceride fat that gets accumulated in the liver cells.

Prevalence
Where this is concerned, FLD which is often called Fatty Liver is found among people who consume a lot of alcohol. This is by no means the only contributor to the disease as it is known to have many types of causes. Apart from alcohol consumption, fatty liver is very common among the obese and this includes those who are with or without insulin resistance affects. Other known causes of fatty liver are those that influence fat metabolism.

From fatty liver, the person can contract other types of diseases like hepatitis related to the liver which is known as steatohepatitis and when it is contributed by excessive consumption of alcohol, it is known as alcoholic steatosis. Therefore, fatty liver is often associated with alcohol drinkers while other known causes include Weber-Christian disease, malnutrition as well as those who are exposed to drugs and toxins like highly active antiretroviral therapy and such.

It is known that the liver is one of the most important organs in the body which is very much like a filter. Fats in the liver are common as they are found in almost every type of meat-related food we consume. Hence, it is common that fats are found in the liver. However, when fats makes up too much in the liver, it becomes dangerous. In fact, fats should not make up more than 5 to 10% of the liver’s weight because this would mean that you have contracted either alcoholic or non-alcoholic liver disease.

Prevention
Diet is the most important factor when it comes to preventing of fatty liver disease. This is usually influenced by the consumption of alcohol in the lifestyle of the person. When there is accumulation of fats in the liver cells, the organ fails to operate efficiently which in return will cause you to feel fatigue, nausea and even vomiting. As such, consuming food that is low on fats would be the most viable option. Apart from that, reducing alcohol intake and eating excessive food that might overwork the liver should be observed as well.

It has been reported that 90 to 100% of those involved in abuse or overuse of alcohol develop fatty livers which if not discovered early and treated could lead to some very serious complications. It could be hereditary as well. Those who do not consume alcohol will contract the NAFLD or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is when they consume too much fat in their diet. FLD can be discovered through a routine medical check-up or through blood tests while more sophisticated procedures would involve imaging and liver biopsy. Selenium and Vitamin E are the known sources that can help overcome fatty liver problems while a healthy diet is most important.

A person who is at risk of developing fatty liver disease will feel tired all the time. However, feeling fatigue can be the result of many other diseases. As such, it would be best to carry out certain medical tests in order to know if you have this problem. The doctor will be able to ascertain this when something unusual is found in the blood and when the liver is slightly larger than it is, then it is quite confirmed that you have the fatty liver disease. For more diagnostics results, you might be required to carry out an ultrasound, a CT (computer tomography) scan or MRI (Medical Resonance Imaging).

Statistics
People with fatty liver disease are usually those who are obese. Among the patients who have reported this problems, it has been found that more than 65% of them were either overweight or at risk of obesity. Apart from that, people with high cholesterol in their blood are found to be twice more likely to develop fatty liver disease then those with normal levels.

It has been reported that 90 to 100% of those involved in abuse or overuse of alcohol develop fatty livers which if not discovered early and treated could lead to some very serious complications. It could be hereditary as well. Those who do not consume alcohol will contract the NAFLD or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is when they consume too much fat in their diet. FLD can be discovered through a routine medical check-up or through blood tests while more sophisticated procedures would involve imaging and liver biopsy. Selenium and Vitamin E are the known sources that can help overcome fatty liver problems while a healthy diet is most important.

Discuss about Malaysia Liver disease in Malaysia Liver disease

Specialists
A family physician is the first person you should consult if you are experiencing problems with your digestive system. Further tests will be carried out to determine the extent of the condition and if you are diagnosed with fatty liver disease, then you will need to be treated by a specialist. This is where you must see an expert in the digestive system and organs like the gastroenterologist who specializes in the liver. In some cases, you could be referred to someone known as a hepatologist while you might need to consult a nutritionist or dietician who will help you in deriving a practical and helpful dieting programme.

Symptoms
Liver disease can be hard to detect because it does not come with any distinct symptom particularly during the early stages of this disease. It can sometimes take up to years for fatty liver to develop and throughout the duration, you could be experiencing fatigue and nausea. If you start having problems with your appetite and often feel tired and weak, then they could be early signs of fatty liver disease. Besides that, symptoms of fatty liver disease could be an enlarged liver which can only be ascertained through a thorough examination while you could have dark skin discoloration around the necks and your underarms.

Medication
If you are diagnosed with fatty liver, then you will be prescribed with drugs like insulin sensitizers like metformin which is a type of medicine used to treat people with diabetes by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Drugs like pioglitazone and rosiglitazone are used for this purpose as well. Antioxidants like vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids are used to treat patients with fatty liver while there has been studies showing that pentoxyfylline could be effective as well.

Home remedies
The most important thing to do if you have fatty liver disease is to practice good dieting habits. You should avoid taking foods with bad carbohydrates like refined sugar and white bread. Processed foods like carbonated drinks and French fries that can be converted into triglycerides must be avoided at all cost. Take lots of canola and olive oil while foods with high fibre contents like vegetables and fruits must be included. On top of this, reduce your intake of salt and sugar in your daily diet and spices like curcumin and turmeric which are all beneficial for your liver.

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References
http://www.sharecare.com/health/liver-disease/what-kind-doctor-treats-nafld
http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/fatty-liver-disease
http://www.medicinenet.com/fatty_liver/page9.htm#medications_and_other_treatment_options

Author: Lauren

Lauren, our main contributor of articles is an established and very reputable nutritionist who has travelled around the world to learn about the best family and health tips.

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