What is Fatty Liver and Its Treatment

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What is fatty liver disease?

One of the most common diseases in the world is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is one of the diseases of the 21st century that is caused by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver tissue. As a result, it disrupts the normal functioning of the liver, leading to liver failure. 5% to 10% of liver weight normally consists of adipose tissue. If the adipose tissue makes up more than 10% of the liver’s weight, it is called the fatty liver.

Unfortunately, fatty liver has affected many people in the community and is on the rise and you should know that there is no definitive drug treatment for it. Fatty liver disease is a problem that is usually associated with alcohol consumption, but what is of interest now is the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. As the name suggests, the reason for this type of fatty liver is other than alcohol. Many people have no symptoms and that’s why non-alcoholic fatty liver is called a silent disease. Nearly one in five develops a more inflammatory liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Steatohepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. 

Allegations about non-alcoholic fatty liver

When you search the internet for fatty liver, you come up with claims that have no scientific basis. One of the common claims is that high fructose corn syrup is the liver’s first enemy. High fructose corn syrup is never the main cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver alone. Research has shown that reducing the consumption of soft drinks and sugars helps the health of the liver. Other claims are that turmeric, coffee, green tea, ginger, and bitter chocolate reduce liver inflammation, but the evidence that this is the case is very weak.

How does a fatty liver develop?

Fatty liver is caused by inactivity, weight gain and the use of high-calorie, low-fiber, and high-fat foods. Also, having minimal physical activity and overweight has unfortunately increased this disease. Currently, 30 to 40 percent of patients referring to specialists have some form of fatty liver. One of the most important causes of fatty liver is alcohol consumption. Other important things that can be mentioned are the addition of body fat and consequently weight gain.

Risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include:

  • People with diabetes
  • Fat people
  • People with fat and high blood pressure
  • People with excess abdominal fat

How can a fatty liver be diagnosed?

Fatty liver is asymptomatic but has been identified in studies with blood tests and elevated liver enzymes. If shown an abnormal factor, they are checked using ultrasound and MRI. But a liver biopsy is the best way to accurately diagnose the disease by a team of experts. 

Symptoms of fatty liver in the early stages

Liver diseases like hepatitis and fatty liver in the early stages have no signs of diagnosis. Therefore, patients are unaware of their condition until after the time and the condition of the liver deteriorates. When fatty liver leads to hepatitis, the liver swells and the patient feels pressure and heaviness in the upper and right abdomen. Fatty liver has a direct relationship with body activity, metabolism status, and hyperlipidemia. All of these are alarms that alert a person of their fatty liver condition. 

Other symptoms of fatty liver include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Anorexia
  • General weakness
  • Nausea
  • Weak thinking power
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Liver enlargement
  • Brown spots on the neck and armpits

In addition, as a result of late diagnosis, the liver loses its ability to function and causes liver failure.

What are the side effects of fatty liver?

You should know that the liver of a patient reacts to fat deposition and in the long run causes liver damage. Hepatitis C is a complication of fatty liver progression that eventually leads to liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis can damage liver cells and cause serious complications for the patient.

Treatment of fatty liver

If fatty liver is detected early, it can be prevented and treated. Weight loss, physical activity, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding high-fat and high-calorie foods are ways to help prevent the disease. Since the disease is reversible in its early stages, so we recommend having a healthy diet, exercising and getting a balanced weight and overall lifestyle change. Note that if the fatty liver turns into cirrhosis, the liver tissue is destroyed. This makes the treatment even harder.

To date, no drug has been discovered for this silent disease. People who consume alcohol and have fatty liver in the event of excessive consumption should reduce their intake and completely stop it. Obese people should reduce their weight and fats that lead to this disease by changing their diet and adhering to a regular diet by a professional team. A 10 percent weight loss is the key to getting rid of fatty liver. People with diabetes or hyperlipidemia should take steps to control the condition with the help of a diabetes specialist to control their blood sugar and fat. Daily consumption of one gram of fish capsules will also help. Remember that one of the most important ways to treat this disease is a change in lifestyles, such as changes in diet, physical activity, walking, and physical activity. 

Antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, can act as an adjunct to fatty liver, but cannot be considered as a drug that can eliminate the disease.

Therapeutic recommendations

People with fatty liver should restrict and monitor the progress of the disease under the supervision of specialist physicians. We recommend that patients, and even those who want to avoid this, choose a healthy diet. For example, drink more water and incorporate significant amounts of high-fat foods such as vegetables and fruits into their diet. In addition, people can maintain their health by reducing their intake of fats, especially saturated fats, and replacing them with unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils. As we said, overweight is one of the factors that play an important role in the fatty liver condition. For this reason, patients should incorporate exercise and physical activity into their daily schedule to improve their weight loss process.

People with diseases such as diabetes should be examined and tested by a specialist. Because control of diabetes and blood lipids in patients with fatty liver have a role in the improvement of this disease. 

Weight Loss

Diet and exercise are good solutions for controlling the fatty liver. Reducing 5 to 10% of body weight can reduce liver inflammation and fat accumulation around organs. But take the weight loss slowly, for example, one or a half kilograms a week is appropriate. Sudden and excessive weight loss in the short term worsens the disease.

Diet

  • Increase your number of meals, but with a small volume. Three main meals and three snacks. Because the high volume of food in the liver is converted into blood fat.
  • Reduce fat and carbohydrates
  • Blood lipids treatment
  • Complete treatment of diabetes
  • Use omega-3s in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna
  • Use of omega-3s found in plant sources including walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, nuts, and olive oil
  • Consumption of Vitamin Folic Acid, VIT / C / B1 / B2 / B6 / B12 and Manganese and Selenium
  • Daily consumption of one gram of fish oil supplement
  • Limit fat and avoid saturated fat
  • A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, Vegetables are recommended because of their high fiber and vitamin content. Fruits are high in fiber but should be consumed less because of sugar.
  • Increase fiber intake with whole grains, brown rice.
  • Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Use canola and olive oils for cooking.

Exercise

The best way to treat a fatty liver is to eliminate the factors that cause it. One of the things that can be done to remove fatty liver is exercise. There is no specific exercise to treat it, but regular exercise (at least 5 times a week and 20 minutes of walking or slow running) is very useful. Doctors recommend that people with fatty liver should exercise for 20 minutes each day or exercise for one hour a day.

To make it more effective, exercise should be part of the routine of life. Also, you do not need to do this continuously for 20 minutes or an hour. The patient can exercise 2 times for 10 minutes or 4 times for 15 minutes (daily). This recommendation is especially useful for people who are unable to exercise long-term because of musculoskeletal problems.

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