Unhealthy lifestyles, irregular exercise schedules and unbelievable food habits may sound normal for a lot of people are not regular with keeping up an exercise schedule, but this could be a reason for various lifestyle-related health conditions. One such condition is of fatty liver in which there is an excess accumulation of fat in the liver. One of the primary reasons why we say obesity is a silent killer is this that increasing weight puts the liver under a great deal of stress, leading to fatty liver diseases. Dr Arvind K.S, Consultant, HPB and Liver Transplant Surgeon, Aster RV Hospital, said, “The fatty liver disease is a rising trend in the country and the globe alike. On average, a fatty liver happens to nearly 30 per population, especially those who live in urban areas and have easy access to lots and lots of unhealthy food options around. One should understand that fatty liver diseases happen with time when a person does not give importance to his/her wellbeing or eating habits. Various reasons, including excess alcohol, resistance to insulin, hypertension, thyroid, genetics mixed with unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise, majorly contribute to fatty liver disease. If not checked on time, fatty liver disease can also lead to chronic liver disease or even cirrhosis in the worst cases.”
Symptoms of Fatty Liver: To start with, how do we know what are the alarming signs of fatty liver disease? The important thing is that there are no symptoms of the fatty liver at all. In some cases, some might feel the strain in their stomach. Apart from that, there are merely any symptoms to check whether one has a fatty liver or no! However, excess fat in the liver can cause inflammation in it and then you may see the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pain in the middle of the abdomen
- Increased liver size, which can be checked with an ultrasound examination
- Colour patches on arms or neck
Types Of Fatty Livers
If the fat accumulation in the lover is about 60 per cent and alcohol is not the reason, it is called as the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In contrast, fatty liver caused by alcohol is known as alcoholic fatty liver disease. In both these types, swelling is a common occurrence, with symptoms like fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss. Usually, people in the age group of 40 to 50 years get this disease.
Just like we say how cancers have now become a disease of the young too, it is something similar in fatty liver disease also. When it comes to millennials and those in the mid-30s, with a busy lifestyle, work pressure and erratic food habits, fatty liver has become a disease for the young too. However, certain groups are more prone to fatty liver. They are:
- Obese people
- Those who have Type 2 diabetes
- Those who drink excessive alcohol
- Those who are into drugs and other illicit habits
- Pregnant women
- Those with a high cholesterol history
Timely Diagnosis is Necessary
Our body might be giving us subtle signs, but it is on us to understand and go in for a timely diagnosis. For the diagnosis of fatty liver, there are various tests that the doctor may recommend some tests and examinations based on the analysis. Following are some generic tests that the doctor can recommend for proper diagnosis:
Physical Examination: It is only after the doctor may do a physical examination to check whether there is a need for further diagnosis. By physical testing, the doctor can hint whether there is a swelling in the liver or not.
Blood tests: If liver enzymes are more than normal in a routine blood test, you may have a fatty liver. However, there may be more reasons to increase liver enzymes, so further testing may be needed to confirm the fatty liver.
CT Scan/MRI: The doctor may also ask to undergo a CT or MRI to check excess fat in the liver.
Liver Biopsy: Liver biopsy is the surest way to detect fatty liver. In this, the doctor removes the liver tissue with the help of a needle. This test also shows the cause of fatty liver.
Fatty Liver Disease Precaution: Hence, this condition can very much be controlled by making a few healthy choices in life. Some of them include not to have excess alcohol, reduce the intake of sugar and saturated fatty acids, concentrate on weight loss if there is an increase in weight and follow a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and a regular exercise regime.
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