What is Fatty Liver ?
Fatty liver, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition where there is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver. This condition can be caused by several factors, including excessive alcohol consumption and obesity. Fatty liver can lead to various serious complications such as liver cirrhosis and other liver diseases. However, this condition can be prevented and treated by following a healthy lifestyle and appropriate treatment.
Causes of Fatty Liver
Fatty liver can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or non-alcoholic factors such as obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. Excessive alcohol consumption causes the liver to be unable to process fat effectively, resulting in the accumulation of fat within liver cells. Obesity can also cause the liver to be unable to process fat properly, as fat cells in the body release more fat into the liver. Additionally, diabetes and insulin resistance can also cause the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver
Initially, fatty liver usually does not cause any symptoms. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as liver cirrhosis, liver fibrosis, and liver cancer. These symptoms include upper right abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Diagnosis of Fatty Liver
Fatty liver can be diagnosed through blood tests, liver ultrasound, and liver biopsy. Blood tests can measure liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). High levels of these enzymes can indicate liver damage. Liver ultrasound can show the presence of fat accumulation in the liver. Liver biopsy is performed if blood tests and liver ultrasound are not sufficient to make a definite diagnosis. In this procedure, a small piece of liver tissue is taken for examination under a microscope.
Treatment of Fatty Liver
Treatment of fatty liver depends on its cause. If the condition is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, the patient should stop drinking alcohol. If the cause is obesity or diabetes, the patient should follow a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintain an ideal weight. Doctors may also prescribe medications that help lower fat levels in the liver and reduce inflammation.
Prevention of Fatty Liver
Fatty liver can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.