Fatty liver is a condition that many people have no idea how to deal with. Many have heard of it but need to know what it is and how to get rid of it. It can happen to anyone but can be prevented and treated with diet and exercise.
Fatty livers have been linked to poor eating habits, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking cigarettes. People who have fatty livers are also more prone to developing gallstones.
Non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not necessarily bad but a sign of something wrong with the human body. It’s important to note that many different types of liver and liver diseases can be caused by many different factors: diet, pollution, medication use, etc. Individuals experiencing fatigue or pain around the upper right side of the abdomen should see their doctor immediately.
Symptoms of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver is a condition that causes fat accumulation in the liver. The symptoms of fatty liver include:
- loss of energy
- decreased appetite
- feeling tired all the time
The first symptom of fatty liver is jaundice (yellow tinge to the skin and eyes), itchy skin, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and weight loss.
Studies have shown about 25% to 30% prevalence of fatty liver disease in the overall U.S. population. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is higher in individuals of Asian, Hispanic, Indian, and Native American genealogy than those of European and African ancestry. Fatty liver disease can develop without causing any noticeable symptoms. Most people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease live without developing liver damage. Additionally, having high-fat levels in the liver increases the risk of heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes.
How Many People Are Affected by It?
Fatty disease affects more than 100 million people in the U. S. and is a growing concern. In the United States, affecting more than 100 million people. While 4.5 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with liver disease, an estimated 80-100 million have fatty liver disease and are unaware of it. And without treatment, it may cause liver damage, including cirrhosis.
In 2020, 51,642 adults in the United States died from liver disease, with chronic liver disease/cirrhosis ranking as the 12th leading cause of death. In 2019, chronic liver disease for non-Hispanic African American/Black people aged 45–64 was the 8th leading cause of death. A 2016 study found that the most common cause of liver disease/cirrhosis among ethnic/racial groups is fatty liver.
Raising awareness about liver disease and its risk factors is important to prevent its onset and progression. Regular check-ups and healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy alcohol use, and getting vaccinated for hepatitis B and A, can help prevent liver disease and its complications.
Many people believe that fatty liver is something that they have to live with, but this is not the case. If ignored, fatty liver disease can lead to serious complications, including cancer or liver transplant. While there are no specific medical treatments available for NAFLD, there are steps that individuals can take to help reduce the amount of fat in the liver and prevent further damage.
The study revealed the connection between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and diabetes. NAFLD is the fat accumulation in the liver that is not caused by alcohol or other drugs. NAFLD is a growing public health concern in Singapore, with an estimated 30 to 40 percent of Singaporeans with diabetes having NAFLD. Importance of lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a healthy diet, in managing NAFLD. Medications, such as SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists, effectively treat NAFLD in people with diabetes. Early detection through regular screenings is important as NAFLD is typically asymptomatic in the initial stages. NAFLD is associated with other types of organ damage, such as heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney diseases.
Home Remedies to Reduce Chance of Fatty Liver
Individuals can improve liver function and decrease the amount of fat in their liver. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight, and regular exercise. A healthy diet should consist of high amounts of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while limiting the intake of saturated and trans fats. Additionally, incorporating at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can aid in reducing the amount of fat in the liver.
Drinking coffee has been associated with a reduced risk of liver disease, including NAFLD. Aim for 2-3 cups of coffee daily to help protect the liver.
Take vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can neutralize liver damage caused by inflammation.
Take note that these home remedies should not replace medical treatment. While fatty liver disease is reversible, it’s important to stop it or reverse liver disease once it’s in the early stages.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas
Hindustan Times: Diet tips, lifestyle changes for liver health; by Zarafshan Shiraz
News18: Keep Your Liver Healthy: 5 Foods to Eat and to Avoid; by Nishad Thaivalappil
UChicagoMedicine: What foods help prevent and reverse fatty liver disease?
The Straits Times: Diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Know the risks, symptoms and ways to control it
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Unsplash+
Inset Image by MyUpchar Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
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