Fatty liver is a new epidemic in India, it affects as high as 20-30% of the general population and up to 80% in those with diabetes.
I would try and educate you in Q&A format as it will be simple to grasp. i would try and answer all the common questions one might have when diagnosed with fatty liver
What is FATTY LIVER ?
Fatty liver in simple terms is excessive accumulation of fat in liver i.e visceral fat
What causes fatty liver?
to answer this i would explain in short about fat metabolism. when we eat all the calorie which is extra would be converted into fat (triglycerides) in the liver which is the manufacturing unit. this fat is stored in the adipose tissue mostly i.e your belly fat !! but if its constantly high would slowly accumulate in the liver itself this causes fatty liver.
So now you know what causes fatty liver; it’s extra calories you consume. it will be because of two reasons
a. You keep consuming extra sweet, refined sugar in the form of carbonated drinks, alcohol, bakery products etc.. and fried food which in turn is fat directly.
b. You are mostly sedentary, no exercise to burn the extra calories you consume.
Because of these two factors you end up accumulating lot of fat. If some body has other risk factors like diabetes the chances and complications are even more.
There are few more rare causes like hepatitis C, Wilson’s disease, storage disorders to name a few.
I am scared, what will happen to my liver once i am diagnosed with FATTY LIVER
Usually fatty liver is a benign (harmless) condition by itself in most (80%) cases, but has many implications for you in terms of your lifestyle.
Interesting point is mostly fatty liver is diagnosed in 25-40 year age group.
Fatty liver would typically progress over 10-15 years into advanced disease causing complications.
Most common cause of death among patients with fatty liver is found to be heart diseases.
The risk factors for fatty liver like diabetes, increased cholesterol and obesity also causes heart diseases.
once patient is found to have fatty liver should give attention towards his/her lifestyle and is of at most importance
How to get evaluated further once fatty liver is detected on ultrasound?
Once fatty liver is diagnosed in the ultrasound the next best thing would be to consult a specialist (Hepatologist) and discuss regarding your disease.
Doctor would assess regarding the modifiable risk factors and would test for common causes like hepatitis C, increased cholesterol, ceruloplasmin and diabetes. would also do a liver function test (LFT).
According to the test results would advise regarding special tests like Fibroscan
What is the treatment for fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver as i explained above happens mainly due to lifestyle problems. so the mainstay of treatment is life style modification
There is no magic pill available which you can take for some time and cure fatty liver. Fatty liver treatment needs your hard efforts in terms of regular physical exercise and weight loss