Fatty Liver Disease: Diagnosis and Its Symptoms

October 3, 2019 Manpreet Yomed No Comments

Fatty liver is becoming more prevalent in India now than European countries. 20% of people worldwide are affected by fatty liver. In the medical care field, it is one of the most common conditions. Our liver is the largest organ in the body. It is mainly responsible for cleaning the blood, producing bile juice, producing and storing energy, and removing toxins from the body. Fatty liver is a condition where an excess of fat accumulates around the liver.

There are two types of conditions relating to fatty liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and Alcoholic fatty liver disease also called alcoholic steatohepatitis.

What is NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)?

The disease, as indicated by the name, is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

NAFLD  further has two categories:

  1. Simple fatty liver: Many people who have conditions of simple fatty liver have sickness related to the liver, including liver fat.
  2. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): Nash is a condition where you have inflammation and liver cell damage, with fat in the liver NASH can cause serious conditions such as fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

What is an Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

This condition develops in a person who drinks too much alcohol. Alcoholic fatty liver disease can cause further conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

What are the Risk Factors of Fatty Liver Disease?

Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol are three common factors that can increase the risk of fatty liver disease. People with normal body weight and no obesity issues can get affected by fatty liver disease. It is important to check on this condition as fatty liver disease is one of the problems which can cause liver damage, liver cancer and the need for liver transplantation.

What are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

Several symptoms and signs indicate fatty liver disease. In many conditions and if the disease is in the early stages, there are no symptoms.

These are Some Symptoms that may Develop:

  • Fatigue
  • Elevated insulin levels
  • Elevated liver enzymes levels
  • Discomfort or pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Weakness
  • Swelling in the abdominal area
  • Elevated triglyceride levels

If the fatty liver has reached the NASH level, these symptoms may develop

  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling nausea and Vomiting
  • Slight to severe abdominal pain
  • Yellow skin and eyes

You must take regular visits to the doctor if experiencing these symptoms.

Diagnosis of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver is usually diagnosed by blood tests. These blood tests will have elevated Liver function test. Blood tests (SGOT or AST, SGPT or ALT, Alkaline phosphatase, GGT) may discover an elevation of the liver chemistries. Imaging modalities such as ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, Liver biopsy also play a vital role in helping to diagnose fatty liver disease.

Liver biopsy is an accurate method that can help the doctor to learn the condition of your liver. Liver biopsy is used to detect if a person has a simple fatty liver or NASH. Conditions like where other tests indicate that your liver may not be working properly, your doctor may use liver biopsy. Liver biopsy is a  more accurate way of learning the liver condition.

How Fatty Liver can be Treated?

There is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease. But you can take steps to control the risk factors to liver disease. High cholesterol, obesity, blood sugar level needs to be controlled to reduce the risk factors.

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