Fatty liver is also known as hepatic steatosis. Your liver is the second-largest organ in your body. It helps process nutrients from food and drinks, and filters harmful substances from your blood.Too much fat in your liver can cause liver inflammation, which can damage your liver and create scarring.It is a common condition caused by the storage of extra fat in the liver. Most people have no symptoms, and it doesn’t cause serious problems for them. In some cases, though, it can lead to liver damage. The good news is you can often prevent or even reverse fatty liver disease with lifestyle changes.
Fatty liver can progress through four stages:
1.Simple fatty liver. There’s a buildup of excess fat in the liver. Simple fatty liver is largely harmless if it doesn’t progress.
2.Steatohepatitis. In addition to excess fat, there’s also inflammation in the liver.
3.Fibrosis. Persistent inflammation in the liver has now caused scarring. However, the liver can still generally function normally.
4.Cirrhosis. Scarring of the liver has become widespread, impairing the liver’s ability to function. This is the most severe stage and is irreversible.
Both AFLD and NAFLD present similarly. However, in many cases, fatty liver causes no noticeable symptoms. But you may feel tired, or experience discomfort or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen.
Some people with fatty liver disease develop complications, including liver scarring. Liver scarring is known as liver fibrosis. If you develop severe liver fibrosis, it’s known as cirrhosis, a potentially life threatening condition that can cause liver failure.The liver damage due to cirrhosis is permanent. That’s why it’s so important to prevent it from developing in the first place.
There are two main types:
1.Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
2.Alcoholic fatty liver disease, also called alcoholic steatohepatitis
What is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?
NAFLD is a type of fatty liver disease that is not related to heavy alcohol use. There are two kinds:
Simple fatty liver, in which you have fat in your liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which you have inflammation and liver cell damage, as well as fat in your liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver. NASH may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
What is alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Alcoholic fatty liver disease is due to heavy alcohol use. Your liver breaks down most of the alcohol you drink, so it can be removed from your body. But the process of breaking it down can generate harmful substances. These substances can damage liver cells, promote inflammation, and weaken your body’s natural defence.
In fatty liver disease, excess fat is stored in liver cells, where it accumulates. A variety of factors can cause this fat buildup.
1.Drinking too much alcohol can cause AFLD. Heavy alcohol use can alter certain metabolic processes in the liver. Some of these metabolic products can combine with fatty acids, leading to the formation of types of fat that can accumulate in the liver.
In people who don’t drink a lot of alcohol, the cause of fatty liver disease is less clear. For these people, it’s possible their body produces too much fat or doesn’t metabolize fat efficiently enough.
One or more of the following factors may play a role in people who don’t consume much alcohol and develop fatty liver disease:
3.Type 2 diabetes
5.High levels of fat, especially triglycerides, in the blood
5.Other potential causes of fatty liver include:
Side effects from some types of medications
Some types of infections, such as hepatitis C
Certain rare genetic conditions
- Coffee to help lower abnormal liver enzymes.
- Your daily cup of coffee could help protect your liver against fatty liver.
- Caffeine also appears to lower the number of abnormal liver enzymes.
- Greens to prevent fat buildup
- Compounds found in spinach and other leafy greens may help fight fatty liver disease.
- Beans and soy
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peas are not only nutritionally dense foods, but also contain resistant starches that help improve gut health. Consumption of legumes may even help lower blood glucose and triglycerides in individuals living with obesity.
- Oatmeal for fiber
- a nutritious diet rich in high fiber foods like oats is effective for those with NAFLD and may help reduce triglyceride levels.
- Nuts to help reduce inflammation
- A diet rich in nuts is associated with reduced inflammation, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress, and a lower prevalence of liver disease. people with fatty liver disease who eat walnuts have improved liver function tests.
- Turmeric to reduce markers of liver damage
- High doses of curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — might reduce markers of liver damage in people.
- Sunflower seeds for antioxidants
- Sunflower seeds are particularly high in vitamin E, an antioxidant often used in the treatment of fatty liver.
- Added sugar. Stay away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, sodas, and fruit juices.
- Fried foods.
- Added salt.
- White bread, rice, and pasta.
Self-Care for Fatty Liver Disease
Lifestyle changes can help
1.Exercise more. Try to be active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might find that it helps to exercise more. But if you don’t already exercise regularly, get your doctor’s OK first and start slowly.
2.Be kind to your liver. Don’t do things that will make it work harder. Skip alcohol. Take medications and over-the-counter drugs only as instructed. Talk to your doctor before you try any herbal remedies. Just because a product is natural, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
3.Get your cholesterol down. Eat a healthy plant-based diet, exercise, and take your medications. This will get — and keep — your cholesterol and your triglyceride levels where they need to be
4.Manage your diabetes.Check your blood sugar, and take medications as your doctor prescribes.
Can You Prevent Fatty Liver Disease?
1.Drink in moderation: That’s one drink a day for women and men over 65 and up to two for men 65 and younger.
2.Protect yourself from hepatitis C: This viral liver infection can make you more likely to get cirrhosis if you drink.
3.Check before you mix meds and alcohol: Ask your doctor if it’s OK to drink alcohol with the prescription medications you’re taking. Read the warning label on over-the-counter meds. Don’t drink when you’re taking products like acetaminophen, which can damage your liver when combined with alcohol.
4.Eat healthy food. Choose a plant-based diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
5.Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising.
6.Exercise. Get a workout most days of the week. Talk to your doctor first if you haven’t been active in a while.
Because most people don’t have symptoms, these conditions aren’t easy to diagnose.
Your doctor may use different methods to find out if you have fatty liver disease. Some of the things your doctor may use to diagnose fatty liver disease are:
1.Health history. Your doctor will ask about your alcohol use. This information can help your doctor tell if you have ALD or NAFLD, so be truthful. They’ll also ask about medications you take, how you eat, and other health conditions you might have.
2.Physical exam. Your doctor weighs you and checks your body for signs of liver problems such as an enlarged liver or jaundice.
3.Blood tests. These can show if you have high levels of liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). If so, there could be a problem with your liver.
Imaging tests. You may get an ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests can help show if there’s any fat in your liver. But they can’t tell whether you have simple fatty liver or NASH
4.Liver biopsy. Not everyone with NAFLD needs to have a liver biopsy. Your doctor may recommend it if you’re at risk for NASH or if other tests show that you may have NASH complications such as cirrhosis. A doctor removes a sample of tissue from your liver and sends it to a lab to see if you have liver inflammation or damage. You’ll get this done at a hospital or outpatient surgery centre. Before the procedure, you’ll get medicine to help you relax or control pain. For the biopsy, your doctor numbs the area and uses a special needle to take a small piece of tissue from your liver. A liver biopsy is the only way for doctors to diagnose NASH.
.lose weight – safely. This usually means losing no more than half to one kilogram (one to two pounds) a week
2.lower your triglycerides through diet.
4.control your diabetes, if you have it
5.eat a balanced, healthy diet
6.increase your physical activity