Fatty liver disease is a medical condition that is characterized by the accumulation of fat (called as steatosis) within the liver (i.e) fat droplets within hepatocytes. Normally, less than 5% of fat within the liver is acceptable range and more than 5% in non-alcohol individual, it is called as non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD).
Alcohol abuse and other conditions can also lead to fatty liver (alcoholic fatty liver), cirrhosis with or without liver cancer. To be diagnosed as NAFLD, a person must not have a history of heavy alcohol use or any other liver related diseases such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
Risk factors for NAFLD:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Obesity / over weight
- Dyslipidemia (High cholesterol)
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Hypothyroidism (Thyroid disease)
Two types of NAFLD:
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), is generally non-progressive type in which there will be only fat accumulation without inflammation (i.e) no liver cell damage/death
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is a progressive type in which there will be fatty infiltration along with liver inflammation (i.e) presence of liver cell damage/death
Symptoms/ Signs/ Diagnosis:
NAFLD, in general, will not cause any symptoms. Some patients might feel fatigue (tiredness) and right upper abdomen vague discomfort. Normally it has been diagnosed by Ultrasonogram of abdomen. In NAFL, the liver function test and Fibroscan test will be within normal range. In contrast, in NASH, both liver function test and Fibroscan test will be in abnormal values.
Fibroscan is a noninvasive test to determine how "stiff" the liver (i.e) scar formation (fibrosis/cirrhosis).
- Keep sugar / cholesterol level under control
- Maintain ideal body weight (Body mass index – 22 to 24)
- Less carbohydrate diet Eat a healthy diet
- Regular walking