What is NAFLD? Everything You Need To Know About Liver Fat
Fatty liver which is liver fat occurs in most people. Everyone has a certain amount of fat around the liver which causes no problem. It is when the levels of fat increase around the liver, it is a cause for concern. Often, people do not realise that they suffer from fatty liver and ignore certain lifestyle changes that are a must. This leads to complications where the organ is concerned and if not tackled in time could pose some serious challenges.
What Is NAFLD and Liver Fat?
The common problem of fatty liver disease, also known as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) or Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is a group of conditions where there is accumulation of excess fat deposits over the liver. This fat deposit is seen among alcoholics and non-alcoholics as well. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is seen in people who consume little or no alcohol and the most common term for this condition is known as fatty liver.
Mostly, adults are victims of fatty liver but there is evidence of this condition’s prevalence in young children as well. The condition is one that can be taken care of if detected early on. But, most people do not realise that they suffer from fatty liver as there are no symptoms. Those who experience the symptoms can easily mistake it for other conditions as well as they are pretty common to various other diseases.
People with pre-existing health problems like obesity and type II diabetes have a higher risk of fatty liver disease. It is there extremely important that people care about their health by making certain lifestyle changes that will benefit them and reverse the effect of the disease. It is never easy to make these changes, but they are necessary. If one continuously ignores the problem, the disease can progress to cirrhosis and liver damage as well. Both of which are not something one would want to experience in their lifetime.
What Are the Symptoms of Liver Fat and NAFLD?
Like we mentioned earlier, people with fatty liver disease often do not face any form of symptoms. It silently develops over a period of years and when it advances to cirrhosis is when people start to experience some symptoms. Also, in some cases people find out about the disease through medical check-ups that they undertake once in a while. Most people do not show any symptoms, but there are those who encounter some form of symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain: People may experience pain in the abdomen or even experience a feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the belly
- Nausea: Many may even experience the feeling of vomiting, loss of appetite and sometimes even weight loss can occur due to this.
- Jaundice: The yellowing of the skin and eyes is a clear indication of jaundice which may happen to people with fatty liver disease.
- Edema: This occurs when the abdomen and legs get swollen.
- Tiredness: People may experience fatigue and mental confusion as well.
- Weakness: This happens when one is simply not able to carry out basic tasks.
All of the symptoms mentioned above do not affect a person at one time. They may experience a few of them. A medical examination can help tackle these symptoms and treat the root cause of it which is fatty liver disease.
What Are the Causes of Liver Fat and NAFLD?
There are studies that suggest a certain set of people are more prone to fatty liver disease. Let’s see who they are:
- Hispanic or Asian people tend to be victims of fatty liver disease more than the others.
- Postmenopausal women too encounter fatty liver.
- For those who suffer from obesity generally have a higher level of liver fat.
- People with high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol are also at danger of getting fatty liver.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition wherein an airway is blocked causing ones breathing to stop and start during sleep.
Now, coming to what are the causes of liver fat, here is what you need to know. There are people who get fatty liver without any pre-existing illnesses. This could simply be because of their unhealthy lifestyle choices. But, for those with certain risk factors, the chances of developing fatty liver are higher. Here are some of the causes of fatty liver:
- Being overweight: Being obese is definitely a cause for concern for many reasons, one being the chances of developing fatty liver.
- Type II diabetes: Having pre-existing type II diabetes or insulin resistance can increase the chances of getting fatty liver.
- Metabolic syndrome: This condition is basically caused due to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.
What Foods Help Cure Liver Fat?
There are few things that need to be kept in mind while one is trying to reverse the damage of fatty liver.
- Following a balanced diet is key. Make sure to eat right. Follow your doctor’s recommendation and eat foods that have been suggested.
- Make sure to lose weight steadily and don’t go too extreme as it could worsen the condition of your liver.
- Avoid alcohol or consumer lesser amounts as it is a major cause of distress for the liver.
- Your doctors is most likely going to recommend the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits and good fats. As difficult as this may seem to get accustomed to, it is essential for your overall well-being.
There is no medication that treats fatty liver. Instead the most natural way of healing the condition is recommended by most medical practitioners. Therefore, make sure to eat right, exercise and keep your mind at ease. Don’t neglect fatty liver if detected early on. It’s best to treat it when the damage is less as the more you delay the treatment, the more complications it will create in your life. Speak to your doctor today in case you have any doubts.