Healthy Tidbits

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Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity

Oct 14, 2014

Most of us understand how much pressure obesity puts on the body as a whole. This type of extra weight causes the body to work much harder than it was meant to just to perform simple functions. As a result, the organs of the body can suffer significant damage, including the liver.

The second largest organ in the body, the liver is also one of the most important, charged with processing everything we ingest so that it can be converted to the nutrients that our body uses for energy. The liver is also responsible for “cleaning” our blood, filtering any toxins from our system.

While a small amount of fat always exists in the liver, with increased weight comes increased fat accumulation in the liver. As fat accumulates to the point where 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight consists of fat, this is a condition known as fatty liver disease. Left untreated, fatty liver disease can cause the liver to swell and could result in a condition known as cirrhosis. Eventually this can lead to liver failure and even death.

Symptoms of fatty liver disease include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, itching, jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin, and swelling of the abdomen or legs.

The good news is that fatty liver disease can be reversed if addressed in the early stages and it can be done through a reduction of weight, a healthy diet, and exercise.

As one of the conditions that often results from obesity, fatty liver disease may propel someone to consider weight loss surgery in an effort to take back control of their life. As weight loss happens and a healthy diet and exercise regime is followed, the fat in the liver decreases and balance is restored. There is no time to waste when it comes to protecting your liver – and, as a result, your life – so if you are struggling with obesity, it may be time to consider some serious measures including weight loss surgery.