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The liver is a key organ in metabolism and will have some amount of fat. However, excessive fat accumulation in the liver can be abnormal and is referred to as fatty liver. If the fat content exceeds anything more than 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight, it would be referred to as fatty liver.
Types - There are mainly two types based on causes:
- Alcoholic fatty liver: This is very common in people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Even a one-off instance of binge drinking can cause increased fat accumulation in the liver, but it would not produce any symptoms though. Preexisting hepatitis, pregnancy, obesity, and genetic predisposition may also lead to alcoholic liver disease.
- Non-alcoholic liver disease: This is the less common type of fatty liver, and there would be no alcoholic abuse history here. However, there could be genetic predisposition, obesity, autoimmune liver disease, malnutrition, which can lead to this condition.
Fatty liver disease is a chronic condition with insidious onset (meaning to say, the exact time of onset cannot be pinpointed). However, as the disease condition progresses, symptoms will become evident, which can trigger a medical evaluation to identify the fatty liver. Some of the symptoms include:
- Excessive fatigue and weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble focusing and concentrating
- Impaired judgment
- Constant, slow enlargement of the liver can cause pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen (where the liver is)
- There could be jaundice, where the skin and the white of the eyes turn pale yellow
- Symptoms of liver failure, including increased levels of proteins in the chemical tests.
As noted earlier, it is not easy to identify liver disease, as there are no specific symptoms. However, the above symptoms could point to a potential fatty liver.
- Blood tests, especially for liver enzymes
- Ultrasound, where the liver is imaged to look for any structural changes
- Biopsy, where liver tissue is extracted to confirm the diagnosis of fatty liver
There is no specific treatment for fatty liver. It can be managed through the following, where symptoms reduce in severity, and overall prognosis improves.
- Diabetes control: There is a relation between how well diabetes is controlled and severity of fatty liver. Improving diabetes control ensures fatty liver does not progress.
- Alcohol: Cutting down or even better quitting alcohol, definitely helps improve symptoms. If it is alcohol induced fatty liver, alcohol should be stopped.
- Weight management: Obesity and fatty liver are related, so weight management is essential.
- Healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen also helps improve symptoms of fatty liver.
Sir I am student of class 12 I am ridden by some digestive system problems and my eyesight number is 3 even if I sleep for 7-8 hrs in night I feel sleepy throughout the day is there a underlying disease I fell much uneasy and often get allergies infection and fever I am study in board class and have to spend a good time studying but lot of sleep disturbs my schedule is this due to underlying health condition and is there any tests which can be formed to evaluate the condition I feel tired in short span such a getting up stairs as I am much overweight and fat.
I'm 27 years of age, I've perianal abscess from yesterday. Kindly advice how to treat it and suggest medications to be taken. Thank you.
I am having gas trouble and it is causing me so much problems. I usually take eno when it becomes severe. Is there any way I can cure it completely.
Hello, I am 24 years old female and i am having indigestion problem for past 8 months I thought it is because of hostel food. I have got heavy abdomen pain and I took aristozyme syrup suggested by doctor. But it helps temporarily and I am having bloat feeling. Stomach fullness after meals, and feels like something sticking in throat. And frequently getting cold sore also. Is that symptoms of stomach cancer or ulcer. Should I seek medications or what should I do? Please help me out.
Follow a low residue diet to relieve abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you have strictures, it is especially important to avoid nuts, seeds, beans and kernels.
Avoid foods that may increase stool output such as fresh fruits and vegetables, prunes and caffeinated beverages. Cold foods may help reduce diarrhea.
If you have lactose intolerance, follow a lactose-free diet. Lactose intolerance causes gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea 30 to 90 minutes after eating milk, ice cream or large amounts of dairy. A breath hydrogen test may confirm suspicions of lactose intolerance.
If you have oily and foul-smelling stools, you may have fat malabsorption. Treat fat malabsorption by following a low-fat diet. Discuss these symptoms with your doctor or nutritionist.
Smaller, more frequent meals are better tolerated and can maximize nutritional intake.
If your appetite is decreased and solid foods not tolerated well, consider taking nutritional supplements (see section on recommended liquid supplements).