Doctors told what to know about fatty liver disease
The smooth functioning of all body systems is the key to good health, and a malfunction in one organ can lead to malfunctions in other organs and contribute to numerous illnesses. The liver is the second largest organ in the human body, helping to process nutrients from food and drinks, as well as cleaning harmful substances from the blood. One of the liver diseases is steatosis or fatty liver disease.
It should be noted that the disease may develop without symptoms for some time, and manifest itself already with complications. OBOZREVATEL analyzed medical information and told what steatosis is, what are the factors of its development and consequences.
The liver, located in the upper half of the right abdomen, is the largest internal human organ, which performs vital functions. The presence of a certain amount of fat in the organ is normal and does not lead to serious consequences. However, if fat is more than 10% of the weight of the liver, the liver is said to be obese and complications are predicted. This condition leads to liver damage and is called steatohepatitis.
So what are the factors that lead to fatty liver disease?
Depending on the causes of the disease, steatosis is of two types: nonalcoholic and alcoholic.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis occurs when the liver fails to perform its functions and cannot fully break down fat, it accumulates in excessive amounts and causes inflammation of the organ. It can also come from other parts of the body or absorbed from the intestines. Usually, other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, or elevated triglyceride levels can lead to the development of the disorder.
Doctors believe that metabolic syndrome can also affect the liver in some people. High blood pressure, abdominal obesity (excess weight around the waist), high "bad" cholesterol or insulin resistance may indicate metabolic problems.
Abuse of alcoholic beverages greatly increases the development of alcoholic steatohepatitis. Unfortunately, it is alcoholism that is the most common cause of fatty liver disease. It is an early stage organ disease caused by the negative effects of alcohol, which can lead to fibrosis if left untreated and prolonged unhealthy lifestyles.
What symptoms does steatosis cause?
Among the main symptoms that may indicate impaired liver function, doctors name:
Loss of appetite
Weakness and fatigue
Appearance of bruises and redness
Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Dark urine and pale stools
Fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity.
What stages does the disease go through?
Simple fatty liver. At this stage, a small amount of excess fat accumulates in the organ, which does not cause inflammation. This condition is fairly safe if it does not begin to progress.
Steatohepatitis. In addition to fat accumulation, inflammation of the liver occurs.
Fibrosis. The liver is functioning normally, but constant inflammation has led to scarring.
Cirrhosis. The most difficult stage, in which scarring leads to a gradual disruption of the normal functioning of the organ. Unfortunately, cirrhosis is an irreversible and incurable process, so it is extremely important to prevent it.
How to diagnose a fatty disease?
If you have these symptoms, you should not put off going to a specialist. After listening to your complaints, your doctor will first perform a routine examination and palpation, during which he or she can determine whether your liver is enlarged and whether there are other external manifestations of the disease.
Lab tests that measure liver enzyme levels and diagnose inflammation may then be offered. An ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be used for additional examinations.
The most accurate method of examination is a liver biopsy, which will take a piece of the organ to check for scarring and determine the stage of the disease.
How to treat the disease?
To date, there is no single protocol for the drug treatment of the liver, although certain clinical studies are conducted. In medical practice, there are certain recommendations that can help overcome the disease at an early stage or alleviate its consequences.
Losing weight. As a rule, this is the first advice for people with liver disease, because it is excess fat that leads to the disruption of its work. Of course, further consumption of alcohol is also out of the question, because it has only a negative effect and interferes with recovery.
Physical activity. If you are trying to lose weight, sports come in handy. Try to be active every day. Even if you haven't been to the gym before, it's time to start for your own health.
Worry about your liver. Don't make it work too hard. Give up junk food and alcohol, don't take over-the-counter medications, and consult your doctor to prescribe preventive measures.
Lower your cholesterol. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and live an active lifestyle so you can control your bad cholesterol and stay healthy.
Control your sugar. Check your blood glucose levels regularly because it affects the function of all your organs. If you already have diabetes, don't forget the medications prescribed by your doctor.
The liver is one of the most important organs, on the proper functioning of which a person's health and sometimes even life depends. As any disease, fatty liver disease is better to prevent than to treat. Moreover, it is not difficult: you should eat right, don't abuse alcohol, be active and don't ignore the first signals of your body.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the impact of diet on the health of the liver. Experts stressed that with hepatosis of the liver should avoid sweets, baked goods, smoked, dried, canned meat or fish, and alcohol.