Fatty Liver Disease

Nov 06, 2023

As its name suggests, fatty liver disease is defined as the accumulation of fat in the liver. While this particular disease is often associated with excessive alcohol consumption, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be caused by such conditions as a hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, hepatitis C, and obesity, among others.

In fact, NAFLD is a common affliction among those who are obese, especially since so many of the conditions that can cause a fatty liver also tend to occur along with obesity.

As the second largest organ in our body, the liver is a responsible for many crucial functions including the processing of the food and liquids we ingest into nutrients that we then use as energy. The liver also filters toxins from blood as it makes its way from our digestive system to the rest of our body. There is always some fat in the liver but when fat begins to accumulate (making up 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight) it can cause swelling, and eventually scarring known as cirrhosis of the liver. This, in turn – if not treated appropriately – can result in liver cancer and even liver failure over time.

Luckily, however, in the early stages, fatty liver disease is a reversible condition that can be addressed with a lifestyle program that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

What Are The Symptoms?
Some of the symptoms of fatty liver disease include loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), itching, and swelling of the legs and abdomen. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that you can be tested for fatty liver disease.

How Does Weight Loss Help?
If you are obese, weight loss is essential to controlling or reversing fatty liver disease. Weight loss also helps to control diabetes, and lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure – all contributors to a fatty liver. If you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, it is crucial to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise, as well as limit your consumption of alcohol.