What Are The Causes Of Fatty Liver Disease
In fatty liver disease, excess fat is stored in liver cells, where it accumulates. A variety of factors can cause this fat buildup.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause AFLD. Heavy alcohol use can alter certain metabolic processes in the liver. Some of these metabolic products can combine with fatty acids, leading to the formation of types of fat that can accumulate in the liver.
In people who dont drink a lot of alcohol, the cause of fatty liver disease is less clear. For these people, its possible their body produces too much fat or doesnt metabolize fat efficiently enough.
One or more of the following factors may play a role in people who dont consume much alcohol and develop fatty liver disease:
Remember that having risk factors means youre at an increased risk of fatty liver disease compared with people who dont have risk factors. It does not mean youll certainly develop it in the future.
If you have one or more risk factors for fatty liver disease, talk with your doctor about prevention strategies.
To diagnose fatty liver, your doctor will take your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and order one or more tests.
If your doctor suspects that you might have fatty liver, they will likely ask you questions about:
Let you doctor know if youve been experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite, or other unexplained symptoms.
How Is Fatty Liver Treated And Is It Reversible
Currently, no medications have been approved to treat fatty liver disease. More research is needed to develop and test medications to treat this condition.
In many cases, lifestyle changes can help reverse most stages of fatty liver disease. For example, your doctor might advise you to:
- limit or avoid alcohol
- take steps to lose weight
- make changes to your diet
- avoid medications and supplements that are hard on your liver
If you have AFLD, your doctor will instruct you to completely abstain from alcohol. They may also recommend a detoxification program and counseling if you have alcohol use disorder .
Several viral infections can also damage the liver. To protect your liver health, your doctor may advise you to receive vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Depending on your situation, they may also recommend regular screenings for hepatitis C.
Cirrhosis can also cause a variety of complications, including:
- portal hypertension, which is when blood pressure in the portal vein of the liver is too high
- an increased risk of infections
- liver cancer
If youve developed complications from cirrhosis, your doctor might recommend additional treatments, such as medications or surgery.
Cirrhosis can also lead to liver failure. If you develop liver failure, you might need a liver transplant.
Lifestyle changes are the first-line treatment for fatty liver disease. Depending on your current condition and lifestyle habits, it might help to:
What Is Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver occurs when too much fat gets stored in the liver and it cant function properly. This extra fat also increases inflammation. This is so critical to your health because your liver is a powerhouse organ. Its responsible for a host of functions in your body, such as controlling your immune system and the clotting of your blood, producing bile and glycogen, detoxifying medications and filtering toxins out of your body. Thats why its so important for you to take the best possible care of your liver.
Your liver also plays a key role in controlling the supply of energy in your body.The sugar in your blood is carried into cells by insulin, to be burned for energy. But when glucose cant easily enter the cells or when you simply eat more than you need, that extra energy gets turned into fat in the form of triglycerides, which get stored in the cells of your liver.
The same process occurs in people who drink too much alcohol. What starts out as too much fat deposited in the liver can progress to inflammation, liver cell injury,and eventually scarring. Various health risks multiply through the stages of fatty liver disease:
- Simple Steatosis: increased total liver fat content
- Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis : excessive fat content in the liver, inflammation and some scarring
- Cirrhosis: pervasive scar tissue that significantly impairs liver function
You May Like: Does Thyroid Cancer Cause Fatigue
Clinical Assessment Of Fatigue
Understanding and then managing fatigue in CLD is dependent on our ability to quantify what is a complex and difficult to vocalise symptom in a way that is both valid and reproducible. There are three broad approaches to the assessment of any symptom. These are the use of subjective measures , objective measures and impact measures . In the context of fatigue in CLD the three categories are: fatigue impact scores, physical activity monitoring, and higher QOL or functional status assessment tools. In terms of fatigue assessment tools, the Fatigue Impact Score has been validated for patient self-completion and is widely used., This approach has the advantage of allowing cross-disease comparison. Disease-specific measures such as the PBC-40 may offer greater sensitivity but are limited in terms of their availability.
Objective measurement of physical activity is in reality an indirect measure of fatigue. It must be remembered that there are confounding factors in chronic disease which are unrelated to fatigue but which cause reduced activity. Perceived fatigue levels can be very high in motivated patients who strive to keep active and thus retain high levels of activity, a scenario that can lead to under-estimation of their symptoms. Physical activity monitoring has been done in PBC and NASH and correlates well with perceived fatigue,, but has limited application other than in the clinical trial setting when objective outcome measures have a particular value.
Why You’re So Tired
Studies disagree about whether the hepatitis C virus itself causes fatigue. But two things are clear. If you have scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis, you’re more likely to get tired. And taking interferon, sometimes a part of treatment, can rob you of energy.
But if you go through treatment and get cured, your fatigue will get better.
If you’re having trouble with daily activities because you’re too tired, talk to your doctor about your medication options. You might be able to take newer drugs instead of interferon to wipe out the virus more quickly, so you don’t have to deal with side effects for so long.
Also Check: Is Fatigue A Symptom Of Uti
What You Need To Know About Fatty Liver Disease
A fatty liver disease is caused by too much fat in the liver. The liver is a vital organ that helps digest food and produce substances that help the blood clot. It also filters harmful substances from the blood. When the liver is unable to process these substances, fat builds up in the tissue. During the early stages of fatty hepatitis, a patient can suffer from cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure. Fatty Liver Disease And Fatigue
While there are no specific causes for fatty liver disease, many factors can increase the risk. Poor eating habits and lack of physical activity are mainly responsible for this condition. It develops in children at a young age, and is more common in boys than in girls. Some people may be genetically predisposed to it, and their parents families may also be at risk. Additionally, children from Hispanic families are at an increased risk of developing the disease, whereas children of African-American parents have a reduced risk.
If you have elevated levels of liver enzymes, you may have fatty hepatitis. The condition can also lead to scarring of the liver. Patients with this condition usually have fatigue and decreased appetite. Because fatty hepatitis is often a slow-developing disease, its best to be diagnosed early. In most cases, the disease can be treated without surgery. For some people, it can be treated with lifestyle changes.
Healthy Body Weights For Children
The best tool to decide if your childs body weight is in the healthy range is to plot your childs weight and body mass index on growth curves. A healthy body weight is when your childs weight or BMI falls between the third percentile and the 95th percentile. If your childs BMI is above the 95th percentile then your child is obese. If your childs BMI is between the 85th percentile and 95th percentile, they may be overweight.
It is important to follow the trend of where your child is tracking on the growth curve and not just one point in time. Remember your child is growing and so you should expect that your childs BMI will change with time.
BMI is calculated exactly like adults. Your childs weight divided by your childs height squared.
Recognizing the difference between physical activity and exercise is the first step to living a lifestyle filled with more movement! While exercise is something best done with a moderate to high intensity and a structured routine, the goal of physical activity is do anything you can that gets you moving and can be physically demanding. It is important to . Here are some tips to decrease your time spent in sedentary activity and become more active!
Remember: Make sure you and your loved one stay hydrated, even during physical activities. Carrying a water bottle during any physical activity is recommended.
Sleep and Your Overall Health
Recommended Reading: Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Anxiety
Protecting Yourself From Infection
People with liver disease are more vulnerable to infections, and if they do get an illness, are more likely to become severely ill5:
- Avoid close contact with adults and children carrying infections.5
- Avoid inhaling dust particles or smoke.5
- Keep good standards of hygiene.5
- Brush your teeth after every meal and floss daily. Try and visit the dentist every six months.5
- Thoroughly clean all cuts and grazes before applying a clean, dry dressing or plaster, and keep an eye on them to make sure they are healing.5
As with medications, it is important to make the doctor or nurse aware of your liver condition and tell them if there have been any changes in your condition, before having any treatment.5
Enlarged Breasts In Men
Men with fatty liver disease can develop larger than normal breasts, which is known medically as gynecomastia. One reason this can occur is because the impaired liver is unable to properly metabolize hormones like estrogen.
Men whose liver disease is caused by alcoholism are especially susceptible to gynecomastia, as alcohol can affect how the body synthesizes testosterone. And the phytoestrogens in alcohol can increase the bodys levels of this hormone, throwing off the ratio of estrogen to testosterone.
You May Like: What Can Cause Shortness Of Breath And Fatigue
Signs Of Fatty Liver And Better Healthy Tips You Should Be Aware Of
You are probably wondering what the heck fatty liver is, which is a valid question. Our livers are responsible for many important functions in our body, but one of their most important roles is to metabolize fats. When your liver cant do its job properly either because its too damaged or not functioning correctly it will accumulate fat and cause inflammation, leading to serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes. But you dont have to live with this condition there are ways that you can avoid fatty liver disease forever!
Ill be talking about the causes of fatty liver, how it affects your body negatively , as well as prevention methods so that you never have to deal with this problem.
The Liver And Its Functions
Blood passes through the liver at about 3 pints per minute, making the liver an extremely busy organ. In charge of a long list of life-sustaining functions, a few of the livers crucial duties, include:
- Producing bile, which helps carry away waste and breaks down fats in the small intestine during digestion.
- Producing certain proteins for blood plasma.
- Manufacturing sex hormone binding protein liver health is essential for a good sex drive. If the liver is compromised in such a way that it is producing too much of this protein, it can depress your sex drive.
- Making cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body.
- Regulating carbohydrate metabolism converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage.
- Storing vitamin A, vitamin D, many of the B vitamins, iron and copper.
- Converting poisonous ammonia to urea .
- Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances.
- Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.
If your liver is unhealthy, compromised or diseased, it could be working too hard for long periods of time, thus becoming overrun with toxins. The livers task of keeping your blood stream clean becomes difficult. In such cases, many different symptoms of poor health may occur, especially allergies, headaches and chronic fatigue.
Also Check: Breast Cancer Recurrence Symptoms Fatigue
Surprising Signs Of Fatty Liver Disease
Especially in its early stages, symptoms of fatty liver can be either non-existent or vague, such as fatigue, fuzzy thinking, mild abdominal discomfort or swelling,and possible irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
But there are a few well-recognized indicators of possible fatty liver. If any of the following are true for you, it may be time to take steps to protect your liver:
1. Extra weight 2. High blood triglycerides3. High or high-normal blood glucose4. Pre-diabetes 5. Type 2 diabetes
What do all of these conditions have in common? Nutrition and lifestyle.
Research shows that, above all, obesity is a clear risk factor. Around 70 percent of obese people have fatty liver disease, while only 10 to 15 percent of people with a normal weight have it. But obesity isnt the only factor.
Clinical Presentation Of Nafld
Symptoms and Signs of NAFLD
Most subjects with NAFLD are asymptomatic. Frequently, patients are diagnosed when they are started on lipid-lowering drugs and subsequent ALT studies are found to be abnormal. Another subset of patients is detected when a liver imaging study is ordered for unrelated reasons and a fatty liver is suspected. A large subset of patients is found to have an abnormal ALT level when it is checked for work-up of nonspecific symptoms.
On physical examination, obesity is often the dominant finding . In others, the concomitant features of the metabolic syndrome, for example, hypertension, predominate. It is estimated that almost 30 to 100% of the patients with NAFLD are obese and up to 50% have some degree of hepatomegaly. The stigmata associated with chronic liver disease such as spider nevi and palmar erythema are present in a small proportion of patients. Muscle wasting may be present as the disease progresses but is difficult to assess due to overlying obesity in these patients. Pruritus, anorexia, nausea, and even jaundice may be occasionally seen with the progression of the liver disease but again represent symptomatology common to advanced hepatocellular dysfunction regardless of etiology.
Correlation of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with body mass index in the population of the United States. Adapted from Ruhl and Everhart.
Recommended Reading: Best Anti Fatigue Mat For Garage
Common Fatty Liver Treatments
Treatment depends on what type of fatty liver you have. For example, if it’s caused by obesity, losing weight through dieting and physical exercise is highly recommended, with no specific treatment required.
Drinking water with lemon may help purify your liver with its antioxidants, while taking herbs such as milk thistle will assist in keeping your fatty liver healthy through its antioxidant properties.
There are also medications such as ursodeoxycholic acid and vitamin E that can be used to treat fatty liver disease, specifically fatty liver patients with cirrhosis or hepatitis. However, always seek the recommendation of a medical professional before self-treatment.
There Are Two Types Of Fatty Liver Disease
You May Like: Anti Fatigue Mats 3 4 Inch
Treatment Of Nafld And Nash
When there is a buildup of simple fat, the liver becomes vulnerable to further injury, which may result in liver inflammation and scarring. The treatment of fatty liver disease is related to the cause. At this time, it is not possible to predict which patients will develop NASH.
Optimal treatment for NAFLD and NASH has not yet been established. People are advised to address their risk factors .
It is usually recommended that those diagnosed with NASH should avoid drinking alcohol. Lifestyle modification and excellent control of other illnesses are important for all patients with NAFLD and NASH.
Currently, there is no proven treatment with medication for NAFLD and NASH. Since it is now such a common health condition, NASH has raised much interest in the scientific community. There are numerous clinical trials for various treatments of NASH and several promising drug therapies that are anticipated to pave the way for new and more effective treatment options.
Everything About Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease is a condition of extra fat build-up on the liver. Fatty liver disease is more common than ever. Unfortunately, stats say that fatty liver affects 20%-40% of the US population. It usually does not cause any symptoms initially. However, it is often first detected by imaging tests requested for other reasons. These tests include abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
Most people associate fatty liver with drinking too much alcohol. However, this common disease can also occur in people who dont drink any alcohol at all. In addition, studies prove malnutrition and a low-protein diet may cause fatty liver in non-alcoholic people.
It is most common in people over the age of 60. However, it can occur in children and young adults. This form of fatty liver disease is called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD.
Recommended Reading: Extreme Fatigue Muscle Weakness Joint Pain