Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), affects about 25% of people in the world, including young adults. It is no news that the liver is the largest organ in the body. It helps the body digest food, store energy, and remove toxins. As the rates of kidney and heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, are rising around the world, so is the rate of NAFLD.
What is a non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a type of fatty liver disease that is not associated with the high consumption of alcoholic drinks. There are two kinds:
• Simple-fatty liver disease: occurs when too much fat is present in the liver cells but there is little or no inflammation or liver cell damage. The simple-fatty liver disease generally does not cause any complications or liver damage.
• Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): is an aggressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It happens when the liver has been inflamed, its cells are damaged, and there is the presence of fat in the liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
What are the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a silent disease with few or no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may feel weak or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen.
The possible symptoms of NASH and advanced scarring (cirrhosis) include:
• Swollen abdomen (ascites)
• Enlarged blood vessels under the surface of the skin
• Enlarged spleen
• Red palms
• Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
unexplained weight loss
What are the causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
The cause of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains unknown. Experts are not sure why some people have abnormal levels of fat in their liver while others do not. Likewise, there is little knowledge of why some fatty livers develop inflammation that progresses to cirrhosis.
What is the risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Researchers are certain that it is more common in:
• Young or older adults who are obese, particularly (concentration of fat in the abdomen)
• Persons who are prediabetes or have type 2 diabetes
• People with high levels of fats in their blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides
• Individuals who experienced rapid weight loss or individuals with high blood pressure
• Cancer patients who take cancer drugs or corticosteroids
• People who are infected with hepatitis C or metabolic disorders, including metabolic syndrome
• Individuals who have been exposed to toxins
How is the non alcoholics fatty liver disease diagnosed?
Because there are rarely any symptoms, it is not easy to find non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will use:
• Your medical history
• A physical exam; your doctor will look for signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, such as enlarged liver, signs of cirrhosis, such as jaundice
• Various tests, including blood, liver function, imaging tests, and sometimes a biopsy
What are the treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Doctors always suggest weight loss for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Weight loss can decrease fat in the liver, inflammation, and fibrosis. If your doctor thinks that a certain medicine is the cause of your NAFLD, then he might tell you to stop taking them and recommend a new medication.
There are no medicines that have been approved to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Though studies are evaluating whether a certain diabetes medicine or Vitamin E can help, more studies are needed.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), can lead to cirrhosis. Doctors can treat the health crises associated with cirrhosis with medicines, operations, and other medical procedures. If cirrhosis leads to liver failure, you may need a liver transplant.
What are some lifestyle changes that can help with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Making some lifestyle changes can certainly help a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease sufferer cope well with everyday life. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help:
• Eat a healthy diet, packed with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit salt and sugar intake
• Get vaccinations for pneumococcal disease and hepatitis A and B
• Live an active life and exercise regularly. By doing so, you will lose weight and also reduce fat in the liver
• Talk with your doctor before using any herbal medicines or dietary supplements, such as vitamins, because some herbal treatments can damage the liver.
My Short Bio:
Daniella Obuwan Oshiame is a Lover of "Cats" and all things "Black & Vegan". She is a Naturalist /Vegan-Health Consultant, who enjoys writing Health & Nutrition articles and developing Vegan recipes.
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