Liver Anatomy: The liver is a dark reddish-brown, cone-shaped organ located in the upper right side of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. It weighs about three pounds.

The Liver is responsible for performing more than 500 functions in our body. It controls most chemical levels of blood and also excretes bile. The bile helps to remove waste material from the liver. The liver processes all blood that flows through it from the stomach and intestine. The liver breaks down the same blood, balances it, creates nutrients, and metabolises drugs into forms that are easier for the rest of the body to use or are nontoxic.


Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) refers to a group of conditions caused by fat accumulation in the liver. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have it. Early-stage NAFLD is usually harmless, but if it worsens, it can cause severe liver damage, including cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an aggressive form of fatty liver disease characterized by liver inflammation, can develop in some people with NAFLD and progress to Liver Cirrhosis and liver failure. This is similar to the damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.


What causes a fatty liver in a non-drinker?

Experts are unsure why some people accumulate fat in their livers while others do not. Similarly, no concrete evidence has emerged of why some fatty livers develop inflammation that leads to cirrhosis.

 Some of the major causes of NAFLD and NASH are associated with points given below:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • A medical condition in which your cells do not absorb the sugar in response to the hormone insulin
  • High Blood Sugar( Hyperglycemia)
  • Increased level of blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides


Does Fatty Liver show any symptoms?

NAFLD usually has no visible signs or symptoms. When this occurs, they may include:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Fatigue
  4. Skin discoloration that is patchy and dark, most commonly found on the neck and underarms
  5. Swelling in the abdomen
  6. Constipation
  7. Vomiting

How is NAFLD diagnosed?

NAFLD rarely causes symptoms. It is detected when tests for other medical condition indicates a liver disorder. This can occur if your liver appears abnormal on ultrasound or if you have an abnormal liver enzyme test. Based on the symptoms, your doctor may advise the following tests to diagnose NAFLD:

  • Complete Blood Count( CBC)
  • LFT
  • Lipid Profile
  • Sugar Test
  • HBA1C
  • CT abdomen
  • MRI Abdomen
  • Elastography

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Treatment: You don't require any specific therapy if you have NAFLD with no other medical issues. However, weight loss through a mix of a healthy diet and exercise is usually the first line of treatment. The amount of weight you should reduce to cure NAFLD is determined by your excess body fat percentage. Based on your overall health, your healthcare team can assist you in determining an acceptable weight loss target.

Cirrhosis caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may be treated with liver transplantation.


How to reverse fatty liver?

There is no treatment that can reverse the fat buildup in your liver if you have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The liver damage can sometimes be stopped or even reversed but it depends upon the stage of the liver disease. Controlling any diseases that may contribute to fatty liver disease is critical if you have NASH. Treatments and modifications in lifestyle may include losing weight, reducing cholesterol levels, controlling diabetes, managing blood pressure, and avoiding alcohol. 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease diet:

For patients with NAFLD, a nutrient-dense, whole-food-based diet rich in fibre, protein, fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats is often recommended. Doctors may advise you to avoid the following foods if you have a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease:

  • Fast food
  • Alcohol
  • Added Salt
  • Rice, white bread
  • Red meat

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease life expectancy:

According to data, NAFLD can shorten women's life expectancy by 4.2 years and men's life expectancy by 4.4 years. Fatty liver can be reversed in some people, but it can also lead to inflammation and eventually liver cell damage in some people.

Can you live a normal life with a fatty liver?

NAFLD can cause liver inflammation (steatohepatitis), which can progress to scarring, or cirrhosis, over time and possibly liver cancer or failure in the most severe cases. However, many people with NAFLD can have a normal life if they modify their diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.

Make an appointment with us today and consult with some of the best liver doctors in Delhi.

Also, Read: The Diabetes and Liver - Everything You Need to Know

with Dr. Ajitabh Srivastava


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