Learn about fatty liver symptoms, causes, and how to diagnose it. Discover how to prevent fatty liver with a healthy diet, exercise, and new treatment options like Gamma Block-Bariatric Embolization introduced by Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad. Find out more in this comprehensive guide.
What is Fatty Liver?
Fatty liver, also known as steatosis, is a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of fat within the liver cells i.e. hepatocytes. This can occur in both alcoholics and non-alcoholics and can range from a milder form known as simple fatty liver to a more serious condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver.
How Does Your Liver Become Fatty?
There are several causes including
- Obesity: It is one of the main causes as overweight individuals have high body fat that leads to a buildup of extra fat in the liver cells.
- Alcohol consumption: It is another major reason as consuming more than moderate levels of alcohol can lead to fat accumulation in the liver, and over time, this can cause inflammation and scarring of the liver tissue.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can lead to fat deposits in the liver.
- High cholesterol and triglyceride (fatty acid) levels due to bad eating habits cause increased storage of fat throughout the body, including in the liver.
- Other risk factors include rapid weight loss, certain medications, and genetic predisposition.
Grading of Fatty Liver
|It is the mildest form and is characterized by a small amount of fat accumulation in the liver.
|It is characterized by a moderate amount of fat accumulation and some inflammation.
|It is the most severe form and is characterized by a large amount of fat accumulation, inflammation, and scarring of the liver tissue.
How Does a Fatty Liver Present Clinically: Symptoms
Symptoms of fatty liver can be subtle and often go unnoticed, making it difficult to detect. However, some common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and abdominal pain. In advanced stages, it can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer.
How Do You Know if You Have a Fatty Liver: Diagnosis
It is important to catch fatty liver early, as it can be effectively treated in its early stages. If you are at risk of fatty liver or have symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor and undergo regular liver function tests. An abdominal ultrasound, which is a non-invasive imaging test, can also be used for diagnosis.
Always rule out other causes of chronic hepatitis (e.g., heavy alcohol use, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Wilson disease, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis, α1-antitrypsin deficiency)
What Treatment Options Do You Have?
The treatment for fatty liver depends on the underlying cause. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet, can also help to improve the health of the liver and prevent the development of fatty liver.
In cases of excessive alcohol consumption, the first step is to stop drinking and allow the liver to heal. In cases of obesity and diabetes, weight loss and management of these conditions are crucial.
To reduce obesity, a major contributor to fatty liver, initially traditional methods of diet and exercise are tried; however, if they fall short, surgery may be recommended to prevent the worsening of obesity.
Bariatric surgery, a commonly used procedure for obesity treatment, can be invasive. To address this, a safer and innovative alternative was developed – Bariatric arterial embolization- Gamma block procedure by Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad, first introduced in Pakistan in November 2017 and aims to achieve the same results as bariatric surgery by inhibiting the release of ghrelin by 90%, a hormone with stimulatory effects on food intake and fat deposition. This endovascular procedure can gradually help to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and improve its function.
A healthy diet is crucial for managing fatty liver disease. It should consist of nutrient-dense foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. This includes lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. Foods to avoid include those that are high in sugar, saturated and trans fats, and refined carbohydrates. Processed foods, fried foods, and high-fat meats should be limited or avoided altogether. It is also important to drink plenty of water, as this can help to flush toxins out of the body and keep the liver healthy.
While there is no specific cure for this disease, there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the health of the liver. Medications such as ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) can be used to help reduce inflammation in the liver and improve its function. In addition, vitamin E supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing disease progression.
New research suggests that a new drug, Elafibranor, is a promising new treatment for fatty liver disease. Elafibranor is a dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha/delta (PPARα/δ) agonist. This drug is designed to work by activating both PPARα and PPARδ receptors, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve the health of the liver.
In conclusion, fatty liver (Steatosis) is a common condition that can occur in both alcoholics and non-alcoholics. It can range from a mild form to a more serious condition and can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer.
The causes of fatty liver include obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and excessive alcohol consumption. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, but lifestyle changes and proper diet, as well as new treatment options such as Elafibranor and 3-D Precision Guided Gamma block-Bariatric arterial embolization, can help to improve the health of the liver and prevent the progression of fatty liver.
With timely diagnosis, proper treatment, and lifestyle changes, it is possible to improve the health of your liver and prevent the progression of fatty liver. It is important to note that fatty liver is a progressive disease, so early intervention is key to managing the condition and avoiding serious complications.
If you’re someone from Pakistan who needs to get checked up for this, you can email us at email@example.com, or call 03302963300. Visit our YouTube channel for more videos and informative guides on getting treatment. https://www.youtube.com/c/DrImtiazAhmad. While international patients can contact 01192213302963300, or WhatsApp us at 03302963300. You can also visit our Instagram handle, obesity.weightloss.specialist, or follow Dr. Imtiaz on Twitter: @imtiaz99