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Fatty Liver : Say No to Fat, Yes to Liver
Liver diseases have become part of the lifestyle disease burden. Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs) / Fatty liver are a common manifestation of metabolic diseases, now found in a significant portion of the population.
About 30 percent of the population can have a fatty liver. But fatty liver diseases can be found in about 10 percent of this 30 percent.
The risk factors like high-fat foods , fast food ,high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, obesity, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle contribute to a fatty liver manifestation. Individual's genetic and other biological predispositions also result in a liver disease.
There is usually no symptom for liver diseases except in some cases when there can be some abdominal discomfort . The presence of jaundice is a marker for an aggressive form of NAFLD that is steatohepatitis.
Fatty liver and any of the risk factors of lifestyle diseases are usually seen as a precursor to liver diseases.
Doctors do not recommend drugs in the first line of treatment. Diet control and exercise are the treatment protocols. Strict monitoring of glucose levels in D.M. and cholesterol levels are advisable
An uncontrolled risk factor could lead to an extreme form of NAFLD termed non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) which may lead to a cirrhotic liver.
Preventive medicine is the best practice as liver function tests are good indicators of whether the liver is at its job or stressed out. Healthy lifestyle practices help a lot in restricting the progress of the disease. Diet (avoid high fatty food and fast food ), exercise will go a long way in preventing NAFLD.
Intake of Fish oil, Vit. E are helpful in these patients. Individuals who have associated jaundice should immediately consult hepatologist for further care.