Fatty Liver Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
June 04, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Fatty Liver Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, is one of the most common liver diseases that people experience. Having some amount of fat in the liver is completely normal. But when it exceeds a certain limit, it can cause many problems, including liver failure and ultimately death.

Causes of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is caused when liver cells absorb a lot of fat from the food and blood. It usually happens due to unhealthy eating habits and slow metabolism, but it can also occur because of more uncommon factors, like pregnancy and sudden weight loss. When the stored fat in liver cells accumulates, it starts building up a layer, leading to fatty liver disease.Types of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is of two types: Alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

1.    Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease happens to people who are heavy drinkers. Alcohol consumption causes fat to accumulate faster on the liver.

2.    Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease does not happen to people who are heavy drinkers. In fact, the exact cause of this type of liver disease is not easily found. Some common causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are obesity, diabetes, and an unhealthy lifestyle.Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

In most cases, Fatty Liver disease does not exhibit a lot of symptoms. Fatigue or dull pain in the upper abdomen area may be experienced by patients regularly. In the case of scarring on the liver due to fatty liver disease, there can be a number of symptoms and complications like:

      Swelling in legs and feet

      Weight loss

      Loss of appetite

      Yellow eyes and skin

      Inflammation in the abdominal area

      Restlessness and nosebleeds

Diagnosis of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver disease can be diagnosed in several ways like a physical check-up, liver biopsy, imagery exams or blood tests.

Physical Check-up: The doctor can feel the upper abdominal area and look for signs of enlarged liver or inflammation. Doctors can usually feel an enlarged liver by pressing the area.

Liver biopsy: In this test, the doctors insert a needle into the patient’s liver and take out a small piece of tissue to examine them in the lab. This type of test gives every detail about the liver and tells if there is scarring.

Imagery exams and blood tests: Doctors use imagery technology like Ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, etc., to see the shape of the liver and signs of fatty Liver disease. Doctors can also diagnose Fatty Liver disease by blood tests. If there are elevated levels of liver enzymes, then the patient might be suffering from fatty liver disease.

Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease

Unfortunately, there is no proper medication that can treat fatty liver disease directly. More research is required to achieve that; however, there are certain lifestyles changes and home remedies that can help patients treat fatty liver disease like:

      Stopping alcohol consumption altogether in serious cases.

      Losing weight by exercising and by treating obesity

      Having a diet that is low in calories and fat. Avoid fatty foods and fast foods.

      Having a plant-based diet that includes fruits and vegetables.

      Taking cholesterol and obesity control medications.

You can acquire any required medications online at Shifa4U.

The best treatment of all is prevention by sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.