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Fatty Liver Disease: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Fatty Liver Disease: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

July 30, 2020

Introduction


Fatty liver disease involves the accumulation of excess fat in the liver. The condition is mild, and you may not notice symptoms. You may undergo various procedures for diagnosing this disease. The treatment for this disease is to prevent or treat the underlying cause.

What Is Fatty Liver Disease?

Accumulation of excess fat in the liver is known as fatty liver disease. In fatty liver disease, the fat in the liver is higher than 5%. Fatty liver disease is the initial stage of liver disease. It may progress to a more serious condition and may ultimately result in cirrhosis and liver cancer.  Accumulation of excess fats damages your liver cells and reduces liver functioning.

What Are The Various Types Of Fatty Liver Disease?

Based on the underlying cause of fatty liver disease, it is of two types:

Alcoholic fatty liver disease: You may have alcoholic fatty liver disease if you consume an excessive amount of alcohol. Your liver metabolizes the consumed alcohol, but the metabolites are harmful to the liver. These substances damage the healthy cells of your liver and put your liver under stress.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: If you did not consume alcohol yet have an accumulation of fat in your liver, you are probably suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. There are various causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fatty Liver Disease?

You may not experience any signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease. However, if you experience some, then they may be the following:

  • – Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • – Fatigue and weakness


In case your fatty liver disease progresses to steatohepatitis, then you may experience the following symptoms:

  • – Yellowing of eye and skin (jaundice)
  • – Ascites
  • – Enlarged spleen

What Are The Causes Of Fatty Liver Disease?

There are various causes due to which you may develop fatty liver disease. These are:
Alcohol: If you consume a significant amount of alcohol for a prolonged period, you may develop fatty liver disease.
Obesity: Obesity is associated with fatty liver disease. Approximately 30-90% of obese people have fatty liver disease. 
Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance may lead to a high level of sugar in the blood. Insulin resistance may cause a high level of fat in the liver.
High belly fat: If you have excess belly fat, you are at risk of developing fatty liver disease.
High level of triglycerides: If you have dyslipidemia and have an increased level of triglycerides in the blood, you are at higher risk for fatty liver disease.

What Are The Diagnostic Procedures For Fatty Liver Disease?

You may undergo the following procedures for fatty liver diagnosis:
Blood tests: You may undergo blood tests such as complete blood count, liver function tests, blood sugar levels, and the presence of hepatitis infection.
Imaging techniques: You may undergo one or more imaging techniques such as abdominal ultrasound, transient elastography, Magnetic Resonance Elastography, and Computerized Tomography (CT).
Liver Biopsy: Your doctor may advise you for a liver biopsy to determine the extent of liver damage due to fatty liver disease.

What Are The Complications Of Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease may lead to the following complications:

  • Steatohepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer

What Are The Treatment Options For Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease is a mild form of liver disease, and there are currently no medications to treat this condition. The best method to reverse this condition is to treat the underlying cause. It may include maintaining a healthy weight, stop consuming alcohol, and maintaining your blood sugar level.

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