What is a Fatty Liver Disease?
A Fatty Liver Disease (FLD) or Steatosis is the accumulation or fat build up in the liver. While it is common to have some fat in your liver, if more than 10% of the organs weight consists of fat your liver may be suffering from Steatosis. As the liver function is to process food and drinks we intake and filter out any harmful toxins and process nutrients, if the liver is bombarded with excessive alcohol or food the bodies response is to store some of these calories as fat, this fat is then stored in the liver’s cells. or There are two main types of Fatty Liver Disease, Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic.
The exact causes of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) are currently unknown, but trends show links to patients who are middle-aged and suffer from obesity tend to have a much higher risk rate of contracting NAFLD.
Risk Factors for NAFLD include patients who are:
- Overweight or obese (BMI 25+)
- Suffer from Diabetes
- Suffer from Hyperlipidemia
- Experienced rapid weight loss
Patients suffering from FLD tend to not experience any obvious associated symptoms so patients find themselves not realising they even had an issue. As the disease worsens you may experience symptoms that may occur for FLD including an inflamed liver, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, poor appetite, weight loss, weakness or confusion. If the condition worsens enough patients may experience an impairment in liver function sometimes causing jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and often leading to serious liver damage and liver failure.
For treatment of NAFLD it is recommended you consult your doctor. There is no specific treatment for NAFLD but in general, patients are recommended to:
- Lose weight (Not too rapidly, no more than a kilo a week)
- Avoid alcohol
- Treat other medical conditions (Diabetes, triglycerides, Hyperlipidemia)
- Follow a healthy balanced diet
- Exercise regularly (recommended 5*30min a week)