Fatty Liver: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Triglycerides and different fats may build up in your liver cells. This results in fatty liver. The balance between elimination and delivery mechanisms determines how much fatty acid is stored in the liver.

Liver cell death and hepatic inflammation could occur in some patients with fatty liver. This could be referred to as steatohepatitis.

All About Fatty Liver

Fatty liver disease is a very common disorder caused by an excess of fat in the liver. There is a modest quantity of fat in a healthy liver.

When fat accounts for five percent to ten percent of your liver’s weight, it becomes an issue. Hepatic steatosis is an often used name instead of fatty liver.

This condition occurs when fat accumulates in the liver. Small quantities of fat in the liver are natural, though too much could be very harmful to your health.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease generally occurs when the fatty liver is developed in people who consume too much of alcohol.

The nonalcoholic fatty liver disease generally occurs in those people who usually do not consume too much of alcohol.

Fatty Liver Symptoms

The fatty liver could progress into four stages:

  • Normal Fatty Liver

    When excessive fat gets accumulated in your liver, it is termed a normal fatty liver. If normal fatty liver is not further progressed, it is mostly not dangerous.

  • Steatohepatitis

    It is a condition in which liver inflammation is present in addition to excessive fat.

  • Fibrosis

    Fibrosis is a chronic inflammation of the liver which results in scarring of the liver. In fibrosis, the liver may continue to operate on a normal basis.

  • Cirrhosis

    Scarring of your liver goes beyond control in cirrhosis, thereby limiting its overall ability to operate. Cirrhosis is one of the most serious stages, which cannot be reversed.

    Fatty liver often has no visible symptoms though you may feel weary and have pain or discomfort in your right abdomen.

    Fatty liver disease often leads to consequences, such as irreparable scarring of the liver in people.

    Cirrhosis is a life-threatening disease that could cause your liver to fail if you have irreparable liver fibrosis.

    Cirrhosis may cause lifelong damage to your liver. Therefore, you should prevent it from forming in the first place.

Symptoms of cirrhosis are:

  • Constant pain in the abdomen.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of hunger.
  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Skin itchiness.
  • Nausea.
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin.
  • Easy bleeding or bruising.
  • Stools turning pale.
  • Urine turning dark.
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
  • Swelling of legs.
  • Clusters of blood vessels beneath the skin.
  • Confusion.
  • Breast enlargement.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition in which extra fat accumulates in your liver cells without being induced by alcohol. The presence of extra fat in the liver is normal.

A fatty liver is defined as one in which fat accounts for more than five percent to ten percent of the weight of the liver.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a more severe variant of NAFLD. The liver may swell and become damaged as a result of NASH.

NAFLD refers to a group of disorders caused by a regular build-up of fat in your liver. It is very common in obese and overweight people.

Early phase NAFLD is mostly harmless. When it progresses, NAFLD may cause a lot of liver damage, which may lead to cirrhosis.

High levels of fat in the liver are linked to an increased risk of significant health issues like renal disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

NAFLD raises your chances of getting cardiac problems if you already have diabetes. It is possible to prevent NAFLD from worsening and lower the amount of fat in your liver if it is discovered and treated early.

What Is Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Damage to the liver from years of excessive drinking causes alcohol-related liver disease. Alcohol misuse could cause your liver to become inflamed over time.

Cirrhosis is a scarring condition of the liver which is caused by liver injury. Cirrhosis is often considered the most advanced phase of liver disease.

Alcohol-related liver disease is a public health issue. Approximately 15% of Americans consume excessive quantities of alcohol. Ten percent of those will develop ARLD.

Women who consume more than 10 alcoholic beverages per week and males who drink more than 15 are considered heavy drinkers.

Excessive alcohol usage has several negative effects. One of them is liver damage. This is very dangerous as liver failure is often deadly. Always learn how to cure and avoid this dangerous condition.

Fatty Liver Diet

Here is an overview of what food to eat and what food to avoid for a fatty liver:

  • Oatmeal

    Fiber-rich foods could help your liver function at its optimum. Oatmeal could be a great choice when it comes to food rich in fiber.

    According to research, it may help you lose abdominal fat and weight. It is an excellent method to avoid liver disease.

  • Avoid Fatty Foods

    French fries and burgers are not good choices for a healthy liver. Too much-saturated fat in your diet may make it difficult for your liver to function properly.

    It could cause inflammation, which may lead to scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis. Therefore, the next time you’re at the drive-thru, consider ordering something healthier.

  • Broccoli

    If you want to maintain your liver healthy, eat a lot of vegetables. This strategy includes broccoli.

    According to certain researchers, this crunchy meal could help prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    If steamed broccoli isn’t your thing, turn it into a slaw with a tart vinaigrette, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. It is also wonderful if you roast it with a dash of balsamic vinegar and garlic.

  • Sugar Consumption Should Be Reduced

    If you consume too much sugar, your liver will suffer as one of the liver’s functions is to convert sugar to fat.

    If you overuse it, your liver produces too much fat, which ends up in places it should not be.

    You may develop a condition like fatty liver disease in the long run. So, do your liver a favor and keep sweets to a minimum.

  • Coffee

    If you can’t get through the day without coffee, you will be relieved to learn that it may have liver health benefits.

    Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee every day may protect your liver from damage caused by a poor diet or excessive alcohol consumption. According to certain researchers, it may reduce the risk of liver cancer.

  • Limit Your Intake Of Packaged Snacks

    Instead of reaching for the vending machine, reach for healthy food next time. Baked products and chips have the disadvantage of being high in fat, sugar, and salt.

    With a little planning, cutting back on calories is a pretty simple diet change. One effective method is to carry a supply of healthy snacks to work.

  • Spinach

    Glutathione, a potent antioxidant found in leafy greens, could help your liver function properly. Also preparing spinach couldn’t be easier.

    It is excellent when cooked with olive oil, and garlic. It is also a great base for a supper salad. When it’s wilted, you may sprinkle it with fresh parmesan.

  • Alcohol Should Be Consumed In Moderation

    Drinking too much alcohol could harm your liver. Cirrhosis may develop over time. Even binge drinking 3 drinks for women and 5 for males in one session may be dangerous.

    Always limit yourself to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Fatty Liver Treatment

There are currently no approved drugs for the treatment of fatty liver disease. To develop drugs the cure this illness, more research is required.

Most phases of fatty liver disease could be reversed with lifestyle adjustments in many situations. Your medical professional may encourage you to:

  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption.
  • Take weight loss steps.
  • Make dietary adjustments.
  • Supplements and medications which are harmful to your liver should be avoided.

If you are having AFLD, your medical professional will advise you to avoid drinking alcohol completely.

If you are having an alcohol usage disorder, they may also recommend therapy and detoxification.

The liver could also be harmed by a variety of viral infections. hepatitis and B vaccines may be recommended by your doctor to protect your liver. 

They may also suggest regular hepatitis C screenings, depending on your circumstances.

What Causes Fatty Liver?

Excess calories in your diet may cause fat accumulation in your liver. A lot of fat may accumulate when your liver cannot break down and process fats as it should.

People with certain illnesses, such as high triglycerides, obesity, and diabetes are more likely to have fatty liver.

The fatty liver could also be caused by starvation, alcohol misuse, and weight loss. However, if none of the symptoms exist, some persons may acquire fatty liver.

Life Expectancy With Fatty Liver Disease

According to statistics, ARLD could cut women’s life expectancy by 4.4 years and men’s life expectancy by 4.6 years.

The fatty liver could be reversed in some people, though it may lead to inflammation of the liver and eventually liver cell destruction.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is not fatal on its own. You are free to live the rest of your natural life without any issues.

When it advances to steatohepatitis, and especially when NASH progresses to cirrhosis, it becomes more challenging for a small percentage of patients.

According to researchers, NAFLD may reduce life expectancy by five years.

How To Reverse Fatty Liver?

Although there is no cure for fatty liver disease, lifestyle and dietary adjustments could help a lot of people.

Many patients find that regulating metabolic parameters including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight may help them delay, or even reverse fat deposition in their liver.

When NASH advances to liver cirrhosis, however, the damage is more irreversible.

Conclusion

The liver is the body’s second-largest organ. It aids in the removal of toxic chemicals from the bloodstream and digestion of nutrients from food.

Too much fat in your liver could lead to inflammation, which may scar your liver and damage it.

This scarring may lead to liver failure in severe cases. Therefore, looking after your liver is very essential for a healthy lifestyle.