Living with any form of disease adds to the stress of a person. Whether it is curable or not, the pain one has to go through, the compromises involved and the mental toll it takes to deal with the situation cannot be explained in words. It is therefore extremely important to make sure that you lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid major health problems. But sometimes, no matter how well a person maintains his or her lifestyle, life can surprise them with uninvited problems like non alcoholic fatty liver disease. One way to avoid anything major happening is by getting a medical check at least once a year, to rule out the possibility of any major diseases.
So how exactly does one know if they suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? And what is fat in liver?
The presence of fat in liver, in certain proportions, is pretty much normal. It is when the levels exceed, is when the problem begins. In most cases, people are not aware that they suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Nafld) and find out while they are being treated for some other problem. There are symptoms but they ones that are common for other problems as well. Hence, it is not easy to know whether you suffer from NAFLD or not. But, if you notice some of the below mentioned symptoms, know that the fat in liver, is not in its normal amounts, and that you need to schedule an appointment with your physician.
People with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or fibrosis, diseases which are more advanced stages of NAFLD, may experience the following symptoms:
- An aching pain in the top right of the tummy
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
In case of cirrhosis which is the most advanced stage, people suffer more severe symptoms, such as:
- Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes
- Itchy skin
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet or tummy (oedema)
Some of the terms mentioned above in relation to fat in liver, may have worried you, so let’s delve a bit further into what they mean.
Basically, there are 4 stages in NAFLD. Most people develop only the first stage, which is not problematic. But for some, when the stages advance, it can be quite challenging. Let’s see what each of these stages are.
- Simple fatty liver also known as steatosis, is a harmless build-up of fat in the liver cells that may only be diagnosed during tests carried out for another reason like we mentioned earlier.
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is more serious. It is where the liver has become inflamed; and affects a handful of the population.
- Fibrosis occurs when persistent inflammation causes scar tissue around the liver and nearby blood vessels. Yet, the liver will be able to function normally.
- Cirrhosis is the most severe stage, and occurs after years of inflammation. In this case the liver shrinks and becomes scarred and lumpy. This damage is permanent and can lead to liver and liver cancer.
For the NAFLD to reach stage 3 and 4, it takes a lot of time. Also, it happens only when the lifestyle of a person is not well maintained. Which is why, your doctor will insist that you eat well, exercise and more over stay stress-free.
Who are at risk of contracting NAFLD?
People with following problems, may be at risk of fat in liver and the many complications that come along with it.
- If you overweight
- If you have type 2 diabetes
- Suffer from high blood pressure
- If you have high cholesterol
- If you have metabolic syndrome
- If you are over 50 years of age
- If you smoke often
What are the treatment for fat in liver or Nafld?
If you are wondering whether this problem can be taken care of with the help of medicines, then the answer is no. Certain medications maybe prescribed but those will be to curb the problems associated with NAFLD.
If you develop liver cirrhosis and the liver stops functioning completely, liver transplant may be an option. The treatment cost is high and getting the right match may also be difficult. Your doctor will provide all the details that are needed in case if you opt for the liver transplant option.
So, how are you going to make changes to your current lifestyle after knowing that you could lead a normal life without fat in liver? How to get rid of fat in liver that is causing immense trouble? The answer is simple, do what is needed to be done. We all know that a healthy liver does have little or no fat. Today, NAFLD is becoming quite a common problem, simply because of the way we lead our lives currently.
What you should keep in mind is that even though early stages of fat in liver disease would not cause harm, neglecting the problem and leading the life you have been living can lead to much bigger and serious problems in the future. When you are diagnosed with fatty liver, get started on bringing your life back on track without having to worry about the future and the complications of NAFLD if it advances. Treat the problem in its early stages and relive yourself from facing serious liver damage.
Also, you should know that, having high levels of fat in your body could give rise to other major problems too. You could face the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and even kidney disease. So stop the problem before it advances and causes more issue for the other organs of your body.
All said and done, we know that making lifestyle changes is not easy; yet, it needs to be done. There is a lot you will need to compromise on and a lot you will have to sacrifice, but if you look at the bigger picture, it is for your well-being only. So the choice is ultimately yours to make, follow a better lifestyle and get rid of the problem or neglect it and face the consequences. We all know which one is the better choice, right?