Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the buildup of fat in the liver. This isn’t a result of drinking too much alcohol (that’s the other kind of fatty liver disease). NAFLD is closely related to being overweight and diabetic. This disease can creep up on you because it causes no symptoms or problems in the beginning. However, there’s a more serious form of the disease called Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). This can cause cancer and liver failure. Both forms, if left untreated, can cause serious long-term health problems.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of liver disease in adults and children in the United States. About 100 million individuals in the United States are estimated to have NAFLD.
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (jaundice)
- Fluid swelling in the legs and abdomen
While there are no clear-cut causes for NAFLD or NASH, there are certain factors that can put you at a higher risk.
- Prediabetes (insulin resistance)
- Obesity or being overweight
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Some calcium channel blockers and cancer drugs
- Poor diet
HOW IS FATTY LIVER DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Routine blood tests can tell how well the liver is functioning and can also tell if you have NAFLD. Additionally, there are tests you can get to measure the liver and see how well it’s working. These include a complete blood count panel and metabolic profile. Your doctor may also want to order an abdominal ultrasound and fibroscan to measure the extent of fat and scarring of the liver. An MRI and CT scan might also be ordered.
3 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOWER YOUR RISK AND HELP HEAL YOUR FATTY LIVER
AVOID SUGAR & PROCESSED FOODS
They jerk the body into overdrive—which means It’s only a matter of time beforesomething breaks down.
MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT EXERCISE ROUTINE
That might look like 20-30 minutes per day.
This is like adding fuel to a fire. It won’t get you to where you want to go, and it will burn you up in the process.
All the above make up an excellent beginning to reversing your fatty liver. For more information, contact Delta Gastroenterology and Delta Medical Weight Management specialize in creating a support system to help you recover from your fatty liver disease.
Blog by Dr. Ulric Duncan