The main causes of a fatty liver are obesity, alcohol, and diabetes. As its name suggests, this condition is a consequence of the accumulation of fat in the liver. Normally, the liver has some fat, but if it’s 5 percent or more than the organ’s weight, then you’re at risk of a fatty liver disease.
Nearly 100 million people in the United States have a chronic liver disease, which is close to 30 percent of the population.
There are 2 types of this disease:
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Scientists don’t know for certain what causes this disease. Usually, they say that it’s hereditary, and that it’s linked to obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and the metabolism of middle-aged people.
Other causes that we should also take into consideration are viral hepatitis, medications, rapid weight loss, autoimmune disease, liver disease, and poor nutrition. In addition, some research shows that high amounts of bacteria in the small intestine may be the cause of fatty liver disease.
Alcohol Liver Disease
As its name suggests, you can get it by consuming too much alcohol. Alcoholics are almost always affected, as well as heavy drinkers.
Other causes of ALD include hepatitis C, obesity, and high amounts of iron in your body.
Liver Disease In Pregnancy
Sometimes, pregnant women may get a fatty liver disease, which is risky for both, the mother and the baby. In extreme cases, it may lead to liver failure in both, or cause bleeding or a severe infection.
Health experts are not quite sure why this happens in pregnancy. But, supposedly, it’s linked to hormonal changes.
Sometimes, you may have a fatty liver disease, but don’t show any obvious symptoms. Thus, it’s important to do those annual medical checkups.
Here we show you 10 early symptoms that can help you recognize this disease.
- Constant fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- General weakness
- Trouble concentrating
- Pain in the upper part of the stomach
- Dark skin patches in the area of your neck and under the arms
- Enlarged liver
If you happen to get cirrhosis, then you may experience the following symptoms:
- Fluid buildup
- Loss of muscle mass
- Enlarged blood vessels
- Internal bleeding
- Red palms
- Enlarged spleen
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
How To Diagnose A Fatty Liver Disease
If you have some of the aforementioned symptoms and you suspect of having a fatty liver disease, then you should visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
The most common tests that can help you determine if you have a problem with your liver are blood tests, ultrasound, and biopsy.
If you’re a heavy drinker and have ALD, then you should quit immediately. This will be one of the best decisions you have ever made concerning the health of your liver. Even if you have NAFLD, you should still limit your alcohol intake. Otherwise, you may things may get more complicated, resulting in cirrhosis or hepatitis.
If you’re obese, then you should try to lose a few pounds and maintain a healthy body weight. Gradually lose weight, about 2 or 3 pounds a week.
Moderate exercise can help you maintain a healthy body mass index and reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.
Low intake of carbohydrates, such as corn, potatoes, white bread and rice, as well as limited intake of sugar are good for your liver. Moreover, a healthy and balanced diet will not only reduce the risk of a liver disease, but it’ll also improve your overall health.
If you smoke, then you should stop. Quitting this bad habit will reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and a fatty liver disease.
Unfortunately, there are no medications that can treat this disease. Only drugs that help manage the problems associated with it. For instance, you may be prescribed with medications that treat type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.
If the normal work of your liver is impaired, or if you’re at risk of a liver failure, then you may be put on a liver transplant waiting list.