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Overview

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is also known as NAFLD.

How is the treatment done?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a disease which is caused due to the deposits of fat in the liver for reasons other than alcohol consumption. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most extreme form of NAFLD. NAFLD is the most common liver disease in the developed countries. This may be caused due to the excessive drinking of soft drinks which has high levels of fructose present in them. Drinking a lot of soft drinks can deposit fat in the liver due to the fructose content present in the drinks. This can also be caused due to genetic variations, and is seen very commonly in the United States. There are other causes to this disease and they include Starvation, Intravenous nutrition, Lipodystrophy and Drugs such as corticosteroids, tamoxifen etc.

There are no symptoms for this disease unless it has reached the advanced level, in which case it exhibits excessive bleeding, jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, mental changes and liver cancer. Since fatty liver generally does not cause symptoms or signs, and any symptoms and signs are more likely to be due to the accompanying diseases such as obesity, diabetes, vascular disease, etc. Treatment for NAFLD includes lifestyle changes and liver transplantation.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

NAFLD is usually first suspected in a person who is found to have elevations in liver tests that are included in routine blood test panels, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST). When further evaluation shows no apparent reason for liver disease (such as medications, viral hepatitis, or excessive use of alcohol) and when x rays or imaging studies of the liver show fat, NAFLD is suspected. The only means of proving a diagnosis of NAFLD and separating it from simple fatty liver is a liver biopsy. For a liver biopsy, a needle is inserted through the skin to remove a small piece of the liver. The treatment includes changes in food habits and loss of weight. It does not take large amounts of weight loss to result in a decrease in liver fat. A less than 10% decrease in weight may be enough. If that does not work, a liver transplant is needed. This process is done when there are lot of complications in the liver. Normally doctors try treating the complications as and when they arise but another alternate Is liver transplant.

To have a liver transplant one needs to go through a check-up which takes around 5 days. This check-up includes a liver specialist who tests the condition of the liver and the general health in order to know if the body and the liver allow the transplantation. The liver specialists might ask for your drinking history, how this disease is affecting your life etc, which would help them decide if a transplant is a good decision or not. The specialists might want you to take several tests such as blood tests, endoscopy, x-rays and ECG. After all these tests, the doctors will decide if a transplant will be a success or not, if it is projected to be a success then they will proceed with a transplant if not then the doctors will ask you to come for regular check ups and give some medications to change the body condition for a transplant. There is no age restriction for liver transplantation, however, 70 years has been the maximum so for.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Anyone with NAFL is eligible for treatment. Patients generally feel well in the early stages and only begin to have symptoms—such as fatigue, weight loss, and weakness—once the disease is more advanced or cirrhosis develops.

Are there any side effects?

Pregnant women and people with a history of heart disease may not be eligible for transplants, depending on their health.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The most common side effects of a liver transplant aren’t from the surgery, but from the anti-rejection medication patients must take for the rest of their lives, such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus, sirolimus, prednisone, azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil. The immune system will sense that a transplanted organ is a foreign object and will attack it. Anti-rejection medication tricks the immune system into accepting the transplanted organ but, in doing so, lowers the body’s resistance to infection and certain types of cancer. The lifelong regimen of medication will be constantly monitored and adjusted to maintain a balance between preventing rejection and avoiding infection.

How long does it take to recover?

After the surgery the patient needs to visit the hospital regularly to get check-ups and tests done. At home the patients surrounding should be cleaned with disinfectants and the accommodation should be close to the hospital in case of emergency. Patients are advised to walk and not use a wheel chair. The number of visitors should be restricted and also avoid contact with any animals or birds. For the first 3 months, patients are advised to wear a mask and avoid crowded places like malls, cinemas, restaurants, department stores, etc. After this, patients can resume their regular social calendars. The patient is advised to eat food which is cooked hygienically and drink boiled/filtered water. Patients are requested to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

It takes around 3-4 months for the patient to recover and start a routine life, provided proper care has been given to the patient and no complication arises.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The cost of liver transplantation varies from 15lakhs -20 lakhs in India.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A person after liver transplant can survive for another 15 to 20 years provided they were no other complications raised during the recovery time.

Popular Questions & Answers

Good time, I am a 32 years man and I had pricking sensation on my hands for a short time since one and half year back it stopped till I got covid vey hard and after 3 days heavy body pain nd two weeks had dizziness I got my health back, then again started the pricking sensation and it increased to burning on my arms and shanks it was continued for almost 6 months till I went a doctor he proscribed vitamin b and d and neuropill 100 tablets I used these for 10 days during my fast month then I felt some pain on my kidney sides went to again another doctor and checked up ultrasound said your kidneys ok but have liver enlargement, and then he proscribed me oxilive syrup, after two months with using cynocal lc tablets I checked again said mild liver enlargement and have bill ind=0.85,a/g = 3.3, bill t= 1.08, bill d= 0.23, alb = 4.5, globulin= 2.3 sgot= 25, sgpt= 22 total protein= 6.8 and other factors are normal, my question is the liver problem could be due to first medicines or it was from before and got increased, and how serious is now and my diet is having breakfast only bread and some peanut butter at 10 then lunch almost every day chicken and rice at 3 less vegetables and in night mostly have vegetable soup and using fruit like banana, mango.

DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Homeopathy Doctor, Hyderabad
Your daily chicken intake may be causing liver and other digestive problems. Reduce intake of chicken.
1 person found this helpful

I have a liver cirrhosis (early stage) and I have been taking liv-52 drugs. Can I combine the liv-52 with silybon drugs?

Liver Transplant, Surgical Gastroenterology, Fellowship in Abdominal Multi Organ Transplant Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Liv 52 does not help with liver cirrhosis. What helps is treating the cause .. that too in early stages of the liver disease.
1 person found this helpful

My father who is aged 56 having cirrhosis of liver. We got to know the same last year in june. We are dissatisfied with the allopathy. He is taking dytor plus 10 and inderal 20. But no improvement. He often becomes unconscious and senseless. Please suggest.

diploma in medicine and surgery, Certificate in advance course on Homoeopathy
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Its a hard work, rather difficult to advice yet to minimize the suffering suggest you to apply one does carcinosin 200 one does and nat sulf 3x 3tabs bd hydrastis can q 6 drops bdpc but further advice needed more details if needed contact by libra...

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