Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is fat accumulation in the liver of people who don’t drink or drink little alcohol. This disease is common and may cause no complications . A more serious form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This can cause inflammation and scarring of liver and eventual death of liver tissue.

CAUSES

The exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in not clear but it occurs as a result of failure of the liver to breakdown fat resulting in its accumulation  in the liver tissue.

RISK FACTORS

Certain factors and conditions may increase your risk of getting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These include :

  • rapid weight loss
  • obesity
  • Wilson’s disease
  • certain medications
  • high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • malnutrition
  • viral hepatitis
  • inherited or autoimmune liver disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes

SYMPTOMS

This disease is mostly asymptomatic especially in it’s early stages. As disease progressed however it may exhibit symptoms such as

  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • pain in the upper right abdomen
  • impaired judgement
  • enlarged liver

TEST AND DIAGNOSIS

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is usually diagnosed during a routine medical exam. Doctor may also suspect you have it  after asking for your medical history and doing a physical exam. Doctor may then perform these test to conform the disease.

Blood test : Liver function test is done to evaluate liver enzymes and help with diagnosis.

Imaging tests : Imaging tests such as abdominal ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose fatty liver disease.

Liver biopsy : This confirmatory test involves taking  a sample of liver tissue  to the lab  to look for signs of inflammation and scarring.

TREATMENT

There is no specific treatment for Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Treatment  means taking care of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity . These include losing weight if you are obese, managing blood sugar level if you have diabetes and changing medications if it is the cause.

PREVENTION

Takes these steps to prevent this disease.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Eat healthy such as including more fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Take medication for disease that can cause fatty liver disease such as diabetes and high cholesterol. You can also reduce your cholesterol using home remedies.

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