Introduction

The accumulation of excess weight in the liver. Normal livers contain lesser than 5% fat in the form of triglycerides. In contrast to the stomach, intestines, and heart or lungs, a small number of people know the functions of the liver.

One of its primary functions is to transform the nutrients found that we consume into energy, leading to the production of antibodies and proteins that our bodies need. If that weren't enough for the liver, it stores these substances until the body is ready to utilize the nutrients. Therefore, let's look at some of the myths about liver disease.

Fatty Liver Symptoms

Patients suffering from fatty liver disease are often left with little or no signs until the condition develops into liver cirrhosis. If you have signs that are not obvious, they could be:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea, and weight gain.
  • Abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness on the upper right-hand side of your abdomen (belly).
  • Swollen abdomen and legs (edema).
  • Yellowish skin and whites around the eyelids (jaundice).
  •  
  • Acute fatigue or mental confusion.

What causes fatty liver?

Certain people develop liver disease despite not having any previous medical condition. These risk factors can are more likely to get it:

  • Being obese or overweight.
  • Affects Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.
  • Affected by metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides).

You are more likely to get the disease of the liver in the following circumstances:

  • You are overweight and have a high percentage of belly fat.
  • You are a postmenopausal woman (a woman whose menstrual cycle has been halted)?
  • You are Hispanic Asian
  • You are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (an airway obstruction that stops breathing or resumes sleep).
  • You are suffering from hypertension, diabetes as well as high cholesterol.

Myth 1: It's only alcohol drinkers who have fatty livers.

Everyone can get the condition, but it is more prevalent among alcoholics. Other than alcohol, the factors that cause fatty liver include being overweight, obese, and having a poor diet, as well as medications, high cholesterol levels, thyroid problems, diabetes, and even genetics.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver may develop as the liver tries for the ability to break down fat which could lead to the non-alcoholic condition of the liver disease steatohepatitis (swelling on the surface of the liver).

Signs of swelling include nausea, vomiting, pain, and jaundice (yellow skin discoloration). If left untreated, it can cause permanent scarring and even liver failure. In rare cases, it is the case that fatty liver appears abruptly during pregnancy.

Myth 2: Fatty Liver is not a serious issue

Fatty liver is the accumulation of fat within the liver, which the word suggests (anything more significant than 5 percent of the organ's total size).

A lot of people suffering from the condition of fatty liver are not aware of their condition. The presence of fatty liver puts your health at risk of severe diseases such as cirrhosis (liver scarring) or liver cancer.

It also can cause none of these complications. Why? The accumulation of liver fat degrades the cells, causing inflammation. The only organ which can be regenerated by replacing damaged, old cells with fresh ones is the liver.

Myth 3: Fatty liver disease is rare

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly widespread across the world. Dietary habits that are unhealthy, alcohol consumption, and an increase in obesity in several countries could be the cause.

About 25 to 30 percent of the population could be suffering from fatty liver. Among them, approximately 15% suffer from the most severe form that could cause cirrhosis or cancer.

The condition is less prevalent in Singapore compared to other countries; possibly because alcohol is more expensive in Singapore However, this doesn't mean we have to avoid the risk. In the USA, fatty liver is the second most frequent reason and is expected to become the primary reason in the case of liver transplants.

Myth 4: Fatty liver is impossible to diagnose

Physicians can identify the fatty acid based on the patient's Liver Health background, family history of liver disease or recent health issues, and any other medical condition the patient suffers.

Living a healthy, balanced life and making use of natural remedies can help stop liver disease:

  • Sugar consumption must be reduced.
  • Alcohol can be harmful to the liver and must not be consumed.
  • Exercise regularly
  • To keep your cholesterol levels and triglycerides at bay, stay clear of foods high in fat and choose plant-based.
  • Maintain your weight in a healthy range.
  • A balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein-rich meats like fish and chicken may reduce the disease's severity.
  • If you're obese or overweight, attempt to shed weight by reducing your daily calorie intake and increasing physical exercise.

Myth 5: Only obese individuals will be prone to Fatty liver.

Obesity is among the most significant causes of fatty liver; however, those who are obese will be the first to suffer. This isn't always the case. Even healthy ones may also suffer from the illness. Anybody who has a poor lifestyle or drinking habits can develop the condition.

Myth 6: There is no need to see a liver specialist.

The majority of patients cope well with lifestyle adjustments. But, some require tests specific to them, such as liver function and fibroscan. Rarely do they require a liver biopsy, and the need for medication may be contingent on the results above.

Certain patients may require regular examinations, and patients suffering from liver cirrhosis could have a liver transplant too. Therefore, it is recommended to see a Gastroenterologist or Hepatologist at least once.

Conclusion

It is a problematic issue that specialists such as Gastroenterologists or Hepatologists need to be examined. They will conduct a thorough assessment and tests that can determine the amount of liver fat and fibrosis and the extent of the damage.

They might recommend specific treatments with extreme care and may ask you to modify your lifestyle by eating a healthy diet and working out in addition to other aspects. They will keep track of your health from time to time and may also suggest liver transplants if there is a need. It is crucial to understand the facts to ensure you're living a healthy way to take care of your liver.

with Dr. Ajitabh Srivastava

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