All About Fatty Liver Disease
What is fatty liver disease and what causes it?
Fatty liver disease is a condition wherein excess of fat gets accumulated in the liver. Although excessive consumption of alcohol is the most common cause of a fatty liver disease, there have been numerous instances in which the patients who drink very little or no alcohol have this condition. Such a disorder is also known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Some of the most common causes include overweight or obesity, insulin resistance wherein cells in the body fail to take up sugar in response to the hormone insulin, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) indicating type 2 diabetes and of course, high levels of fats such as triglycerides in the blood.
When unidentified and untreated, this type of fatty liver disease consisting of liver inflammation can easily progress to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer and even death. The other type of fatty liver disease which is caused by heavy use of alcohol is called Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease or Alcoholic Steatohepatitis. When the liver tries to break down the alcohol, toxic substances are produced which damage liver cells leading to inflammation and fall in the body’s immunity altogether. In either case, Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre is here to help you identify, diagnose and treat fatty liver diseases through the experts of our Centre for Digestive & Liver Disease.
What are the signs & symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Both NAFLD and Alcoholic Steatohepatitis have few or no symptoms at all. This makes them very dangerous when left undiagnosed and untreated but there is no need to worry because our experts here at Yashoda have you covered for it.
When the NAFLD patients do show symptoms, the following are the signs one must take note of
- General fatigue
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal swelling (ascites)
- Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface
- Enlarged spleen
- Red palms
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Accumulation of fluid (edema)
- Vomiting of blood
- Mental confusion
What are the risk factors of fatty liver disease?
A risk factor is something that raises a person’s chances of developing a disease. Although there is no absolute cause identified, below are the most common risk factors that our experts and researchers have accurately identified as common among fatty liver disease patients:
- Obesity or being overweight, regardless of the sex or age
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood
- Metabolic syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Sleep apnea
- Advancing age
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism)
People who have had infections such as hepatitis C and people who take certain drugs such as corticosteroids and some cancer drugs are also highly vulnerable to this disease.
How can fatty liver disease be diagnosed?
Since there are few or no symptoms shown, it becomes hard to gauge the quick progress of the disease. This makes early diagnosis even more necessary and hence, the importance of general routine check-ups and tests. Besides, our doctors never overlook common indicators; Yashoda is equipped with all the latest technologies, providing laboratory and imaging tests and biopsy through our highly-trained experts.
A blood count test along with a liver function test (LFT) in the lab which shows an increase in liver enzymes, comes off as warning signals of fatty liver disease.
An ultrasound scan can reveal accumulation of fat in the liver; the amount indicates the severity of the disease. Fibroscan and Fibrotest are some of the specialised ultrasound tests that have been found to be highly reliable. These measure fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty change) in your liver which enables our experts to understand the condition of your liver in order to deliver the right treatment accordingly. Get the best Fibroscan done at the most affordable prices only at Yashoda! Call now at 9810922042 to know more.
Upon the observation of your medical history and physical exam, this imaging test is recommended by our doctors to detect various liver diseases that show no visible symptoms in the patient.
Timely recognition of the risk factors is extremely essential for timely diagnosis to be carried out and hence, Yashoda recommends everyone to perform annual check-ups with our doctors so that we may help you detect and render the best treatment available.
What are the treatments for fatty liver disease?
There is no specific treatment to cure the fatty liver disease currently, since there is no medicine as such to mitigate fat in the liver. However, in the case of Alcoholic Steatohepatitis wherein excess intake of alcohol is the cause, consumption of alcohol must be stopped immediately. In case of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, early diagnosis can easily revert the fatty liver under the supervision of doctors along with dietary alteration and necessary lifestyle changes which will control the risk factors. Depending upon the condition of the patient, our experts may recommend bariatric surgery from which some patients who are obese may benefit. For such cases, the department of bariatric/weight loss surgery at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre has excellent health services to offer you.
Listed below are what experts at Yashoda recommend, that will lead to a progressive treatment:
- Exercise regularly to maintain a balanced weight
- Maintain low fat and sugar diet
- Control diabetes
- Control blood pressure
- Reduce high cholesterol levels
- Avoid alcohol
- Intake of essential antioxidants strictly under our experts’ advice
- Perform annual health check-ups
- Regular check-up of liver enzymes, blood sugar and cholesterol levels
Whom to consult for fatty liver disease treatment?
Fatty liver disease when left undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to more severe cases such as cirrhosis and liver failure from which the patients can only be saved by a liver transplant. Since identifying the disease is not easy, our experts at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre under the Centre for Digestive and Liver Disease, urge you to reach out to us, so we may help you in identifying, diagnosing and providing the best care to save you and your loved ones from fatty liver disease.
For any query on fatty liver disease and its treatment, please feel free to reach out to us on our official website www.yashodahealthcare.com or book an appointment with our Gastroenterology & Hepatology specialists, Dr. Manish Kumar Gupta and Dr. Sushrut Singh by calling us on 9810922042.