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Last Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Fatty Liver Disease - Ways It Can Be Treated!

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Dr. Siddharth JainGeneral Surgeon • 24 Years Exp.Liver Transplant, Surgical Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Abdominal Multi Organ Transplant Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
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Hepatic Steatosis, better known as Fatty liver is a term which describes the condition where fat gets built up in the liver. The liver is the second largest organ in the body and it plays an important function of processing everything we eat or drink and then filter out harmful elements from the blood. This process gets interrupted if there is too much in the liver. We generally call the liver as fatty, when fat accounts for more than 5 to 10 percent of the weight of your liver.

The problem of fatty liver is quite common, affecting around 10 to 20 percent of people living in America without cirrhosis or inflammation. According to the American Liver Foundation, the majority of the cases of fatty liver are detected between ages 40 and 60.

Symptoms of fatty liver
Basically one cannot associate any symptom with fatty liver, though once this situation arises, people might experience fatigue or unusual discomfort in the abdomen.
Excess fat in the liver can lead to its inflammation and in that case, you might come across symptoms such as:

  • You don’t feel like having any food due to poor appetite
  • One starts to lose weight
  • You might experience pain in the abdomen, which tends to interfere in your passing of urine.
  • As there is a loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss, muscles would start feeling weak.
  • Due to weakness in your muscles, you would easily get tired even when you have not any work that required a lot of exertion.

Causes of fatty liver
The most common reason behind fatty liver is alcohol. On the other hand, fatty liver can also occur among people, who are non-alcoholic.
In those circumstances, the fatty liver gets developed when the body creates too much fat or is unable to metabolize fat fast enough. The excess fat gets stored in the cells of the liver where it gets accumulated to form fatty liver disease.

The common causes for fatty liver, other than alcoholism are:

  • ObesityObesity is a condition when you gained too much bodyweight through accumulation of excess body fat. This becomes a major problem which leads to other problems like fatty liver.
  • DiabetesExcess amount of blood sugar in your system, which results in diabetes, raises the risk of developing fatty liver disease.
  • Genetic Inheritance: If you have someone in your family, father, mother or anyone else, who has suffered from this problem of fatty liver, then it’s quite certain that you might also catch up with this disease.

Treatment for fatty liver
You are always at risk if you get diagnosed with the problem of the fatty liver through blood tests, MRI scan and liver biopsy. Though there is no medication or surgery possible for treating this problem a doctor would provide certain recommendations to reduce the risk factors. These include:

  • Limiting or complete avoidance of alcohol
  • Keep a check on cholesterol and reduce the intake of sugar and other saturated fatty acids
  • Make a genuine attempt to lose weight
  • Control your blood sugar by walking daily and having a restricted diet
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!

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