Fatty Liver Disease: All You Need to Know

February 18, 2020


What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease, otherwise known as hepatic steatosis, is the condition in which fat accumulates in the liver. Having fat in your liver is normal, however, having too much fat in your liver can cause liver inflammation and scarring.

Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of fatty liver disease.

Fatty Liver Disease: How Serious Is It?

There are two types of fatty liver disease, which include:

1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

This includes simple fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The latter is more severe as it involves inflammation and liver cell damage, which may lead to:

  • Liver scarring
  • Liver cancer
  • Swollen veins in your esophagus
  • Fluid buildup in your abdomen
  • Confusion and drowsiness

2. Alcoholic fatty liver disease

Alcoholic hepatic steatosis can be further aggravated if you keep drinking alcohol, and it may lead to:

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Enlarged liver
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis
  • Enlarged spleen
  • High blood pressure in the liver
  • Bleeding in your body
  • Liver failure

What Are the Early Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?

Early signs of fatty liver disease include:

  • Swelling of the legs
  • Fatigue
  • Dark patches under your arms or on your neck
  • Nausea
  • Increased liver size
  • Jaundice
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Weakness

What Causes Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease develops when your body does not metabolize fat efficiently or produces too much fat. It can also be caused by other factors:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • High blood sugar
  • High levels of fat, especially triglycerides

Less common causes of hepatic steatosis include:

  • Exposure to certain toxins
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain types of medications and genes
  • Hepatitis C
  • Rapid weight loss

How Can I Reduce Fatty Liver?

These tips will help you reduce fatty liver:

  • Quit drinking
  • Lose weight safely
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lower your triglycerides through medication or diet
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Keep your diabetes in control
  • Schedule regular check-ups with a doctor who specializes in liver care

What Foods Should You Avoid with a Fatty Liver?

Here are the foods that you must avoid if you have a fatty liver:

  • Sugary foods such as cookies, fruit juices, candy, and soda
  • Salt, limit sodium (salt) intake to less than 1500 milligrams a day
  • Baked and fried foods
  • Red meat
  • White bread, pasta, and rice

Also Read – Liver Disease Awareness Month

What Vegetables Are Good for Fatty Liver?

Vegetables including sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and peas are good for fatty liver.

What will your doctor Recommend?

Your doctor will recommend a healthy diet and exercise for weight loss. Weight loss addresses the factors that contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Weight-loss surgery is an option for those who need to lose more weight. Liver transplantation may be recommended for those who have cirrhosis due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Also Read – Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) & Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Earlier diagnosis and treatment help to reduce fatty liver disease before it causes serious problems. Are you looking for expert treatment for fatty liver disease? Contact COEM.

Fatty Liver Disease