Our liver contains certain amount of fat in the cells, and that’s completely normal. However, owing to varied factors, the fat deposits can increase, and if the weight of the fat is more than 5% than the weight of the liver, the person has a condition known as “fatty liver disease”. This is more like an umbrella term for conditions that eventually lead to fat deposits in the liver.
There are two major types of fatty liver disease – Alcoholic liver disease and Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The former, as the name suggests, is related to alcohol abuse, while the latter is caused by a number of other factors, including hepatitis and genetics. It is important to understand the signs and treatment for fatty liver disease, so that you can get treated in time. Here’s a quick take on the major aspects.
Knowing the signs
Sadly, liver diseases often don’t have preliminary or early signs, and therefore, a lot of patients don’t even realize that they have fatty liver disease or other conditions related to the organ. If you feel tired and fatigued all the time, consider talking to the experts of United Surgical Partners International. You may also have some of the other signs, such as loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, nausea, pain and swelling in the upper abdomen. Some patients also complain of confusion and other cognitive problems. Due to fat deposits, the size of the liver may be larger, and you may be prone to bruising. In case of alcoholic liver disease, patients complain of the symptoms after a bout of drinking. As a result of fatty liver disease, the patient may suffer from a condition called cirrhosis, which can eventually lead to liver failure.
In most cases, doctors find about fatty liver disease by checking the size of the liver. Blood tests are done to check the number of enzymes, which may indicate a fatty liver. In most cases, ultrasounds are also suggested to get a better idea of the condition. If the patient suffers from fatty liver disease, doctors may suggest a biopsy too for further investigation.
Please note that there is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease. In most cases, the focus is on the cause. Lifestyle and diet changes can help in reversing the damage, and such patients should always stay away from alcohol, no matter the form or quantity.