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The Fatty Liver disease: Everything you need to know

Indians are more prone to develop Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease, as compared to others.


People consider alcohol consumption harmful to health because of many reasons. Amongst them all, its negative impact on the liver is the most frequently discussed. But, we often ignore the fact that alcohol consumption is not the only way in which we harm our liver. Excessive consumption of junk food can also create similar liver-related problems


These days, fatty liver disease is on the rise among the Indian population. We are seeing a very high number of NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) cases.


What if a fatty liver? What are fatty liver disease symptoms? Can it be cured? And, how can we protect ourselves from it? Let’s find out!

What is fatty liver?


Fatty liver is the name given to the condition when your liver has accumulated more fat than the permissible amount of 15%. In other words, it is the term given to a buildup of fat in the liver.


But, why is it an issue when the liver accumulates too much fat?


The liver is a very important organ of the human body. Its function is to help in the processing of food and beverages that you intake. It also helps the body filter out harmful substances from the blood.


Now, the build-up of too much fat in your liver may cause liver inflammation, cause damage to the liver, and even scar the organ. Scarring may give way to worsening of the case, and may even lead to liver failure.


There are various reasons why a person might develop a fatty liver. What are these causes and how can we protect ourselves? Read ahead to find out!


What causes fatty liver disease?


On the basis of the causes, fatty liver disease can be divided into two types:

  1. AFLD or Alcoholic Fatty liver disease

When excessive consumption of alcohol causes a fatty liver, it is known as AFLD or Alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is one of the functions of the liver to process the alcohol a person consumes. But, when someone consumes an excessive amount of alcohol, the liver may get severely damaged.

  1. NAFLD or Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

As evident from the name, this is the type of fatty liver disease that isn’t caused due to alcohol. It is mainly a product of faulty lifestyle choices or certain underlying diseases. The most commonly observed causes of NAFLD are-

1. Obesity

2. High cholesterol, or generally high levels of other kinds of fats in the body

3. Type-2 diabetes, or certain kinds of metabolic syndromes.


Chances of developing NAFLD are significantly lesser in people who take good care of their health on a routine basis.


How can we protect ourselves?

There are two different categories of fatty liver disease on the basis of the cause. Hence, you will have to opt for different measures to protect yourself from these.



To prevent Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease or AFLD from developing in your body, you have to refrain from consuming alcohol. Introducing your liver to a lot of alcohol can overwhelm the system and can lead to a build-up of fat in the liver. The build-up, when more than normal, is considered fatty liver disease from alcohol.



To protect yourself from Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease of NAFLD, you must maintain and follow a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, and develop the habit of exercising frequently.



In case you already have developed the disease, and you want to stop it from worsening, you can adopt a diet for fatty liver disease. Ensure that you adopt any diets after consulting with the doctor and under the guidance of a qualified nutritionist. Keeping a check on the diet can genuinely make fatty liver disease tolerable.


Is Fatty Liver Curable? How?


When a patient is diagnosed with either kind of fatty liver disease, the first action to take is to focus on weight loss. Treatment for fatty liver disease starts with significant weight loss. The patients are advised to lose at least 10% of their body weight. But, significant improvement can be seen at the loss of around 3-5% of the body weight.


The kind of treatment that is prescribed by the doctor also depends on the severity of the condition. In some cases, a liver transplant may also be advisable.


But, is fatty liver disease really curable?


Yes, the cure and reversal of the disease are possible if the patient takes the required steps to lose about 10% of the body weight.

Final thoughts

I hope you could get some practical insights about fatty liver disease in this blog. Right from what causes it, to how it can be treated. I know this can be very overwhelming when diagnosed, especially for people who consume alcohol. People get habitual of intoxication and then are scared to lose access to it. One has to remember that nothing is above life & no matter how weak your will power is, this is the stage you cannot afford to let it overpower you. If you have control over your habit, this is curable. But if you keep losing your will power without fully curing it, it can quickly turn into your biggest nightmare.


Before I leave, please remember my words that when it comes to curing anything, preventing all diseases comes down to a simple task- maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you can maintain a healthy diet, and weight, and ensure regular exercise- you significantly reduce the chances of developing major diseases.


So don’t sleep on the idea of achieving a healthy lifestyle. Save yourself the trouble of hospital visits with a few simple routine changes!

 

The Author :

Dr. Sunil Khattri

sunilkhattri@gmail.com

+91 9811618704


Dr Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

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