Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition wherein the liver has excess fat despite the person being a nondrinker or a very moderate occasional drinker of alcohol. Those who drink alcohol regularly or are alcoholic can have fatty liver which is caused primarily due to alcohol consumption. However, many doctors are of the opinion that fatty liver caused by alcohol would lead to cirrhosis and it is liver cirrhosis that gets diagnosed eventually and not fatty liver.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Causes
The liver is a large organ on the right side of your body. The liver serves the function of storing fat and releasing it when the body requires it. The liver also helps in breaking down the fat when it is stored for easier absorption by the cells of the body. When the liver stores excess fat due to one or more reasons and when it is unable to break down the fat, the accumulation of the excess fat leads to scarring and inflammation of the tissues in the liver. This is the beginning of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease In rare cases, it can lead to liver failure. 🙁
There is no one or single cause of non alcoholic fatty liver. Several health conditions and factors can contribute to the fat buildup in the organ.
Poor lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking alcohol, a high sugar diet) along with several other health conditions can cause a fatty liver. Also if someone takes a lot of medications even over the counter ones like like tylenol they can be adding stress to the liver.
It must be noted that the liver would always store fat for the body and that is not dangerous. It is worrisome when the liver stores excess fat and that cannot be broken down or is not absorbed by the cells of the body later.
Once the scarring and inflammation begin, treatments should be recommended to prevent or manage nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Untreated and uncured, this can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease induced cirrhosis.
The scary thing about non alcoholic liver disease is that you could have over 90% of liver damage and not even know it, because your body is acting normally. You can’t go by how you feel when it comes to the liver.
There are many health conditions and even medical treatments that can facilitate the causation of non alcoholic fatty liver disease. Some of them are gastric bypass surgery, high cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism an underactive pituitary gland or hypopituitarism.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms
There may or may not be any non alcoholic fatty liver disease symptoms at the outset. During the first few years, most people don’t even realize that they may have a fatty liver. When the condition worsens or begins to worsen, non alcoholic fatty liver disease symptoms include pain in and around the liver, usually at the upper right abdomen. Sometimes people have some pain in their right shoulder. Or they may experience bloating. Some people experience the whites of their eyes turning yellow. There may be itching on the bottom of your feet or the palms of your hands.
One of the biggest signs that you may have nonalcoholic liver disease is that there may be a large belly also known as a beer belly. Or you may be experiencing excess bloating. Some people also experience right shoulder pain.
The good news is that the liver can totally regenerate! However it does take time to get the liver healthy once again.
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