The main function of the liver is to process food and waste products. A healthy liver has lithe or no fat at all. However, if you drink a lot of alcohol, or eat too much food, your body tums these extra calories into fat. This fat is then stored in the liver cells. Over time, the amount of fat in liver cells can increase significantly. If these amounts become too high, the condition is called fatty liver.
Fatty liver can be a sign of drinking too much alcohol, but in most cases, it is not related to alcohol. Very often, fatty liver can be a sign of other diseases, such as diabetes.
People with fatty liver have an increased risk of head attack and stroke. In many people, the fatty liver does not cause other problems on its own. However, in some others, fatty liver can lead to liver inflammation (swelling, redness). Over time, the liver gradually deteriorates, which can lead to cirrhosis. This is a serious disease.
Talking about treatment, following a healthy, balanced diet (in which the amount of sugar and trans fat is low) can prevent the problem of fatty liver from progressing or even gradually beginning to heal. Apart from this, controlling diabetes, reducing weight, and giving up alcohol are included.
Types of Fatty Liver
There are two basic types of fatty liven non-alcoholic and alcoholic.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops when the liver has difficulty breaking down fat, causing fat to build up in the liver tissue. The reason for this is not related to alcohol. It is diagnosed when more than 10 percent of the liver is fat.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Alcohol-associated fatty liver is the earliest stage of alcoholic liver disease. Drinking too much alcohol damages the liver, and the liver may be unable to break down fat. Abstaining from alcohol possibly reduces the problem of fatty liver. Within six weeks of not drinking alcohol, the liver eliminates fat. However, if excessive alcohol use continues, liver cirrhosis can result.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver
The onset of the fatty liver often does not cause symptoms. But as it starts growing, gradually its symptoms start emerging. The liver is enlarged in about 75 percent of patients with fatty liver. Its other symptoms are as follows:
• Abdominal pain, and in some cases swelling of the upper abdomen
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
If these symptoms occur, you should consult your doctor and get them treated properly. Fatty liver is usually detected after the age of 40-60. This condition is not so serious, but if it is not detected and treated on time, it can cause damage to the liver which is called cirrhosis. This can lead to other diseases like jaundice. Your liver may be prone to inflammation. Excessive inflammation and damage to the liver can affect liver function.
Internal medicine in Abu Dhabi
Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre provides treatment for fatty livers to promote better health for patients. Book an appointment now with our internal medicine specialist.