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Know More About Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The nonalcoholic fatty liver disease also called NAFLD is a disease when the range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name explains the main characteristic of NAFLD is too much fat in the liver cells. The damage is similar to one caused due to one caused by heavy alcohol use. It is very severe, and it may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Symptoms

The nonalcoholic fatty liver disease normally causes no indication. Later when it does it includes:

  • Enlarged liver
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in upper right abdomen

Causes

Experts don’t know exactly why some people accumulate fat in their liver while others do not. Similarly, they also have no clue about why some fatty liver develops inflammation that progresses to cirrhosis. NAFLD is linked to the following:

  • Overweight
  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood sugar, indicating type 2 diabetes
  • High level of fat, particularly triglycerides, in the blood

Risk factor

A wide range of disease and condition can increase your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease including:

  • High cholesterol
  • High level of triglycerides in blood
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity, particularly in this case fat is concentrated in abdomen
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Underactive pituitary gland

How it is diagnosed

NAFLD usually has no symptoms. So diagnosing the problem often starts after the blood test finds higher than normal level of liver enzymes. A standard blood test could reveal these results. However, levels of the liver enzyme could also suggest other liver diseases. So the doctor in charge needs to rule out other conditions before diagnosing NAFLD.

An ultrasound of liver can help to reveal excessive fat content in the liver. Another type of ultrasound known as transient elastography measures your liver’s stiffness. Greater the stiffness suggest greater scarring.

If these tests are not decisive then the doctor has to do the liver biopsy. In which the surgeon removes a small sample of liver tissue with a needle inserted through the abdomen. The sample studies in the laboratory for any sign of inflammation and scarring.

Can disease like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease causes any complications:

The main problem with the NAFLD is cirrhosis which actually limits your liver’s ability to function normally. The function includes the production of bile and metabolizing medication and toxins. Converting of ammonia in the blood to harmless urea for excretion is another important function of the liver. Producing cholesterol and removing bacteria from blood are other function. Cirrhosis may progress to liver cancer or liver failure. In some cases, liver failure can be treated with medication but usually, a liver transplant is required. Mild cases of NAFLD may not lead to serious liver problems or serious complication. But this early diagnosis and change in the lifestyle are necessary for preserving the health of the liver.