11 Facts About Fatty Liver Disease

In this post, we will be telling you about 11 interesting facts about Fatty Liver Disease.

What is a nonalcholic fatty liver disease?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition in which the accumulation of excess fat in the liver, not due to excessive alcohol consumption. It’s a very common condition in clinical practice. It affects about 20% of the world population.

Why is a fatty liver disease is important?

We care about fatty liver disease because it is one of the problems which can cause liver failure, liver cancer, and the need for liver transplantation. The presence of extra fat in the liver can cause chronic irritation of the liver cells and subsequently can cause further liver damage.

What causes fatty liver disease?

There are three common causes of fatty liver disease, being overweight, patient’s with diabetes and also patient’s with high cholesterol. Keeping in mind some people with normal body weight can have fatty liver disease. The increasing epidemic of fatty liver disease has been recently attributed to overweight and the high prevalence of diabetes.

Does fatty liver disease occur in children?

Fatty liver disease used to be a very rare condition in children. However, recently with the increasing problem of obesity in children, fatty liver disease became affecting about 10% of children.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

Early in the course of the disease, many patients have no symptoms. However, when the scaring and the inflammation of the liver progress. Many patients start to complain of problems related to enlargement of the liver or fatigue. If complications happened from fatty liver disease such as cirrhosis or complete scaring, patient can have problems with bleeding and symptoms of other complications of liver disease such as liver cancer.

How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?

When we do a blood test for a patient with fatty liver disease, many patients will have elevated liver function test. Imaging modalities can be very helpful for diagnoses of fatty liver disease, such as ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or fiber scan. Occasionally, patients might need liver biopsy to assess the significance of the damage in the liver.

What are the complications of fatty liver disease?

Fatty liver disease in early stage could be completely reversible. However, if patient continues to have excess fat in the liver. This can lead to complete scarring of the liver, or what we call sclerosis. And subsequently liver failure, and its complications such as liver cancer, and the need for liver transplantation. Fatty liver disease become a more common indication for liver transplantation globally.

How is fatty liver disease treated?

There is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease. The most important step is to control the risk factors to liver disease such as high cholesterol and controlling the blood sugar, and lose weight for obese individuals.

What is the effect of coffee on fatty liver disease?

There are recent studies which confirm clearly the benefit of coffee for patients with liver disease. There have been some suggestions that drinking two or three cups of coffee a day will prevent liver cancer, and liver scarring in patients with fatty liver disease.

What is the best diet for someone who has fatty liver disease?

The most important food to avoid for patients with fatty liver disease, are food rich in refined sugars, such as bread, rice, potatoes and corn. Also we recommend for patients to consume lean meat and increase the amount of vegetables and salads in their diet.

Are there any new therapies available for fatty liver disease?

At Johns Hopkins Hospital we are conducting several clinical trials. Looking for a novel therapy for fatty liver disease. We’re using tablets form for specific drugs that alter the pathophysiology of fatty liver disease. What we are hoping is to prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver. To reduce the amount of scarring in the liver from fatty liver disease. And eventually preventing liver cancer and liver failure.