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Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

April 22, 2020

When excessive fat deposits are found in a person who does not consume alcohol, his condition is called non alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. In this condition, the damage caused to the liver is severe and is similar to that caused due to alcohol abuse. If ignored, it may lead to liver cirrhosis and liver failure.

Symptoms of Non Alcoholic Fatty liver Disease:

  • You may experience pain in the upper right abdomen
  • You may experience fatigue
  • Your liver may get enlarged

Causes of Non Alcoholic Fatty liver Disease

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity and overweight
  • High Triglyceride levels
  • Insulin resistance

Risk Factors that may cause Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

  • If you have high blood triglyceride levels
  • If you have high cholesterol
  • If you have metabolic Syndrome
  • If you are obese, especially with fat accumulation in the abdomen
  • If you have sleep apnea
  • If you have PCOD or Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • If you have Type 2 Diabetes
  • If you have underactive pituitary gland
  • If your thyroid is underactive

Factors that help diagnose Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD):

  • Higher levels of liver enzymes in the blood test
  • Ultrasound of liver to assess fat content
  • Transient elastography to determine the liver’s stiffness. Greater the stiffness, more the scarring
  • Liver Biopsy is conducted if the above tests still cannot help the doctor to come to a conclusion. A sample of the liver tissue is collected with the help of a needle, that is inserted through the abdomen. The collected sample is then sent to the lab to determine the presence of scarring and inflammation

Complications caused by Non alcoholic Fatty liver Disease (NAFLD):

  • May cause Cirrhosis which impairs the normal function of the liver like nullifying toxins, producing bile, metabolizing medicines, converting ammonia in the blood into harmless urea for excretion, producing cholesterol and also removing bacteria from the blood
  • Liver Cirrhosis may cause further complications like cancer and liver failure which may require a liver transplant surgery

Early diagnosis and lifestyle changes may preserve the liver’s health and may prevent any serious problems.