You went to the scanning center to get your stomach scanned for some other disease. After scanning, the doctor says, “There are no other problems, but there is some fat in your liver, which means you have fatty liver disease.”
So what is Fatty Liver Disease? What are its symptoms? How can you prevent it? What are its treatments?
I will be answering these questions in this article here regarding this disease.
If you understand Malayalam, here is a video on the topic:
What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)?
Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease is a type of liver disease that comes to people who don’t drink alcohol at all. It is a very common condition which affects 1 out of 4 people worldwide.
Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease is a group of conditions affecting the liver caused by an excess fat deposit in the liver cell.
There are 3 main conditions for this illness.
- Overweight or obesity
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), indicating prediabetes or actual type 2 diabetes
- High levels of fats, particularly triglycerides, in the blood
What are the symptoms of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Truth is that in many of the first stages of NAFLD, they show no signs or symptoms of illness(s) and because of this we may never know the underlying disease that we have in us. We come to know such a disease exist in us once we undergo scanning or CT scan on the stomach for the purpose of finding out the cause of some other illness(s).
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Enlarged Liver
If NAFLD has progressed for a long time without doing any treatment(s) or if you haven’t done anything to reverse it, it will move on to another stage of illness known as Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), meaning the illness will have a similar effect of a person having Hepatitis, starting with scarring and inflammation on the skin.
NASH symptoms include:
- Abdominal swelling (ascites)
- Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Red palms
It is better to get proper medical treatment before the illness progress to NASH. Non-Alcoholic steatohepatitis affects mostly older people, people with body fat concentrated at their tummy and diabetics.
Has your doctor told you that you have Fatty liver disease after undergoing a scan on your stomach? If so, comment ‘Yes’ and we shall discuss it.
How can you prevent Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
To reduce your risk of NAFLD:
- Choose a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. In order to follow a healthy diet, you might need to seek the help of a dietitian. Here is a link to a video that I created about the diet that you should be following if you have fatty liver disease.
- If you are overweight, count the calories that you consume every day and reduce it and get more exercise. NAFLD not only affects people who are overweight but also persons of normal weight as well. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising.
- Now you need a proper exercise regimen. Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Include aerobics, stretches, muscle strengthening, etc in your routine. Get an OK from your doctor first if you haven’t been exercising regularly. Till then you can continue exercises like running, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.
What are the treatments for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
The important part of the treatment for NAFLD is losing weight. Like I said before, lose weight by adopting a healthy diet and doing more exercise. Some people under certain circumstances may undergo bariatric surgery if they are overweight. The main goal of weight loss is to reduce 10% of your current body weight within 6-8 months at least.
If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar normal by following the medications, insulin, and diet properly.
If you have high levels of cholesterol in the blood, especially triglycerides in the blood, follow its treatment prescribed by a medical doctor.
Sometimes your doctor will give you liver stimulant/boosting supplements for at least 2 -3 months. Supplements like vitamin E and other vitamins called antioxidants shall also be prescribed.
A recent study has found that those who regularly drink one or two coffee has shown to be preventing inflammation in the earlier stages of NAFLD. It’s not clear how coffee works or how much coffee you’d need to drink in order to benefit. But some studies have shown that people who drink coffee every day are protected against liver damage due to inflammatory changes, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. If you already drink coffee, these results may make you feel better about your morning cup of coffee. But if you don’t drink coffee, then this isn’t a good reason to start.
You need to do things to protect your liver, meaning if you already have NAFLD don’t drink alcohol which puts too much stress on your liver.
Check with Gastroenterologist before using any herbal remedies, as not all herbal products like Ayurveda or naturopathy are safe.
It is better to do Liver transplantation surgery earlier if your condition is more in an advanced stage and your illness has progressed to NASH or Cirrhosis. Outcomes of liver transplantation in such patients are generally very good.
You can now talk to a Gastroenterologist (Liver specialist) without visiting a hospital on your phone. Download the Dofody app and grab your first doctor consultation absolutely Free of cost!
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