Steatosis or Fatty Liver is a medical condition where a buildup of fat takes place in the liver. More than 5 to 10 percent of the liver weight in fat indicates hepatic steatosis. In early stages steatosis shows no symptoms. Progression of the condition produces symptoms like appetite loss, weight loss, weakness, abdominal pain, liver enlargement, and in severe cases can cause jaundice and liver cirrhosis leading up to liver failure.
The most common cause of hepatic steatosis is alcohol. Heavy drinking inhibits the liver’s ability to metabolize fat, leading to its accumulation in the liver. Other than alcohol, other causes of fatty liver are obesity, diabetes, high amount of fat in blood, genetics, etc. Inability of liver to metabolize fat causes its accumulation. Hence, high fat and high sugar diets contribute significantly towards development of fatty liver.
Fatty liver has no medical treatment. Lifestyle changes reduce accumulation of fat in the liver.
Fatty liver has neither medications nor surgical options for its treatment. Medications, if any, are aimed at the symptoms arising from excessive fat deposition in the liver. The fatty liver condition itself is treated by making lifestyle changes, which include abstaining from alcoholic beverages, a healthy diet with necessary cholesterol intake, reduced sugar consumption, keeping blood sugar within healthy levels, etc. Increasing physical activity is also prescribed. If the condition is being caused by an underlying condition, treating the condition takes care of the fatty liver condition as well. The condition is completely reversible till cirrhosis sets in.
Fatty liver shows very few symptoms, especially in the early stages. People showing symptoms like enlargement of liver, abdominal pain, nausea, weakness, jaundice, etc. can be checked and treated for steatosis.
Fatty liver is completely reversible by making simple lifestyle changes and requires no treatment without other conditions associated with it.
There are not many side effects of treatment for fatty liver.
Post treatment guidelines for hepatic steatosis include no or low consumption of alcohol, a healthy and balanced nutritious diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a fit and active lifestyle in general.
Time to recover from fatty liver disease depends on the extent of fat deposition in the liver and whether cirrhosis has set in.
Price of treatment for steatosis starts from Rs. 500 and may go up to Rs. 10,000 or higher for complications and other underlying conditions.
Hepatic steatosis is completely reversible. However, the reversal is permanent only till no further fat deposition takes place. Repeated deposition of fat and reversal of the condition can cause liver tissues to die and become filled with scar tissues.
Making simple lifestyle changes can effectively reverse hepatic steatosis. A number of alternative treatment options are available, including herbal supplements, home remedies, etc.