Fatty liver disease is a condition that results when fatty deposits accumulate in the liver cells. Without treatment, fatty liver can progress to liver inflammation, alcoholic fatty liver disease, or hepatitis. There are many ways you can prevent fatty liver disease by making lifestyle changes. The first step toward this goal is to recognize fatty liver symptoms. The most common symptom for fatty liver disease is elevated levels of transaminase enzymes in the blood, which means your body isn’t properly processing these enzymes due to fat deposition in the organs. Fatty Liver Symptoms
Symptoms of fatty liver include:
• nausea and vomiting
• abdominal pain around the upper right part of the abdomen
• dark urine (tea-colored)
• pale-colored stools
• weight loss in the absence of dieting If you have fatty liver disease, see your doctor check your liver enzymes. Elevated levels could mean fatty deposits are coating the cells in the organ responsible for filtering toxins from your blood. Lifestyle changes can help fatty liver improve or even reverse if caught early enough. To prevent fatty liver disease, try to control obesity and type 2 diabetes, major risk factors for fatty liver. You can also reduce alcohol consumption since fatty deposits are more likely to accumulate when there is a chronic intake of ethanol. It’s important to note that fatty liver does not pose a serious health threat on its own; it simply signals the presence of liver inflammation. Typically, the fatty liver disease progresses to alcoholic fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Alcoholic fatty liver disease is a type of fatty liver that occurs when someone regularly consumes more than 3 drinks per day for men and 2 drinks per day for women over a long time period. Alcohol consumption constantly damages the liver cells, so they cannot properly produce enzymes, which leads to fatty deposits. Over time, fatty liver disease can become inflamed and progress into alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common type of fatty liver because it’s related to obesity and insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes appears to be a major cause of fatty liver disease. The more you weigh, the greater your risk for fatty liver becomes. Insulin resistance prevents your body from using insulin properly, resulting in fatty deposits in organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys that are supposed to break down sugars from carbohydrates. Obesity also increases fatty deposits in other ways since fat produces inflammatory cytokines that disrupt your body’s normal metabolic processes. In addition, people with fatty liver may experience certain symptoms, depending on the severity of fatty deposits in the liver. The most common fatty liver disease symptoms are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain around the upper right abdomen, dark urine (tea-colored), pale-colored stools, and tiredness. Fatty Liver Disease Causes
Lifestyle causes include:
• drinking alcohol excessively
• having uncontrolled diabetes or prediabetes
• being obese or overweight
• eating unhealthy foods, including processed meats containing high amounts of nitrates which can damage cells lining blood vessels and cause fatty deposits to form
• not getting enough exercise Other fatty liver disease causes problems with how your body metabolizes toxins from food products containing phthalates found in canned foods. Your body also metabolizes chlorinated fatty acids, which are products of fatty deposits in plants and animals.
Fatty liver disease is diagnosed by blood tests that measure transaminase enzymes and diagnostic imaging such as an ultrasound or CT scan to look for organ fatty deposits.
Treatment may include weight loss through healthy eating and exercise. However, a fatty liver disease without symptoms is not considered a medical emergency and does not require treatment. If the fatty liver disease becomes more severe over time, it can result in scarring of your liver cells and possibly require a transplant or medication to stop fatty deposits from building up.