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What is Fatty liver ?
It is also known as hepatic steatosis. It happens when fat builds up in the liver. liver is the second-largest organ in your body.
Too much fat in liver can cause liver inflammation, which can damage liver and create scarring. In severe cases, this scarring can lead to liver failure.
- When fatty liver develops in someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, it’s known as alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD).
- In someone who doesn’t drink a lot of alcohol, it’s known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Stages of Fatty Liver : Fatty liver can progress through four stages:
- Simple fatty liver: There’s a buildup of excess fat in the liver. Simple fatty liver is largely harmless if it doesn’t progress.
- Steatohepatitis :. In addition to excess fat, there’s also inflammation in the liver.
- Fibrosis. Persistent inflammation in the liver has now caused scarring. However, the liver can still generally function normally.
- Cirrhosis. Scarring of the liver has become widespread, impairing the liver’s ability to function. This is the most severe stage and is irreversible.
What is Liver Fibrosis ?
Some people with fatty liver disease develop complications, including liver scarring. Liver scarring is known as liver fibrosis. If you develop severe liver fibrosis, it’s known as cirrhosis, a potentially life threatening condition that can cause liver failure.
The liver damage due to cirrhosis is permanent.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver ?
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- weakness or fatigue
- itchy skin
- yellow skin and eyes
- easy bruising or bleeding
- dark-colored urine
- pale stools
- fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites)
- swelling (edema) of legs
- web-like clusters of blood vessels under skin
- breast enlargement in men
- mental confusion
There are two main types of fatty liver disease: non alcoholic and alcoholic.
a) Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) : Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is when fat builds up in the liver of people who don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
If there’s no inflammation or other complications, the condition is known as simple NAFLD.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of NAFLD. It’s when buildup of excess fat in the liver is accompanied by inflammation.
b) Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD)
Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) is the earliest stage of alcohol-related liver disease. If there’s no inflammation or other complications, the condition is known as simple alcoholic fatty liver.
Alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) is a type of AFLD. It’s when a buildup of excess fat in the liver is accompanied by inflammation, which is also known as alcoholic hepatitis.
c) Acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP)
Acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP) is when excess fat builds up in the liver during pregnancy. It’s a rare but serious pregnancy complication. The exact cause is unknown, although genetics may be a reason.
When AFLP develops, it usually appears in the third trimester of pregnancy. If left untreated, it poses serious health risks to the mother and baby.
How to Diagnose Fatty Liver ?
- Physical examination: Palpation of abdomen.. If liver is enlarged might be able to feel it.
- Blood tests:
In many cases, fatty liver disease is diagnosed after blood tests show elevated liver enzymes. like alanine aminotransferase test (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase test (ATT)
- ultrasound exam
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Liver biopsy: It is used to differentiate bw liver scarring and fatty liver.
how to prevent Fatty Liver / Prevention:
- limiting or avoiding alcohol
- managing your weight
- eating a nutrient-rich diet that’s low in saturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates