Hepatic statuses or fatty liver is a common term that describes the condition of fat buildup within your liver. Of course, you probably understand that it is normal to have small amounts of fat inside your liver, but if you aver too much that could cause severe issues to your overall health.
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Since the liver is the second largest organ in the body, it features various functions such as processing everything that we consume and filtering harmful substances and toxins from the blood. However, when you have too much fat in the liver that could lead to long-term liver issues.
You will be able to diagnose the early stage of fatty liver disease especially when you check the proportion of liver cells that feature more than 5% of fat. It is diagnosed by checking small samples from your liver under a microscope, but other tests can also evaluate the fat content of your liver such as MRI scans, CT scans, and ultrasounds.
The liver tends to repair itself by rebuilding new liver cells as soon as old ones die and are damaged. However, if you have consisted and repeated damage to the liver, its repairing process will slow down, and the scarring will start as a result.
This particular condition is known as cirrhosis, and in mild forms, you will be able to treat fatty liver and ultimately cure it, but you have to change and improve your lifestyle and add modifications such as weight loss, diet changes, and increased physical activity.
In most cases, you will not notice any symptoms of this particular condition. However, if you neglect it, it may develop into a more severe disease that will affect most people all across the world. Fatty liver is highly associated with inflammation in people between ages of 40 and 60.
Fatty liver will become harmful to the liver when it progresses, and you will achieve liver inflammation that could lead to scarring, cancer and even fatal diseases that you will not be able to cure.
Fatty liver features no symptoms, and according to research, 20% of affected adults have a problem with fatty inflammation that will worsen the conditions in overall. If that happens, you will notice symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and fatigue. Your liver will become enlarged, which you will be able to detect in a physical exam.
In case that you obtain liver inflammation, you will notice symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Physical weakness
- A poor apatite
- Abdominal pain
In fact that fatty liver reaches cirrhosis that could lead to liver, failure and you will notice symptoms such as:
- Jaundice of the eyes and skin
- An enlarging filled abdomen
- Abnormal bleeding
The leading cause of fatty liver will happen due to alcohol abuse and heavy drinking. In some cases, people that have this particular problem do not consume too much alcohol, but they feature high body weight and consume processed sugars, that could lead to diabetes, high triglycerides, and low physical activity.
Have in mind that fatty liver will develop in the bodies that feature an extensive amount of fat and since your metabolism will not be able to deal with it with efficiency; it will start to get stored inside the liver cells and accumulate above 5%. Besides alcohol abuse, other reasons for fatty liver are:
- Genetic inheritance
- Rapid weight loss
We can differentiate the two types of fatty liver
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
This particular problem will develop when your liver has difficulty in breaking down fats, which will lead to fat buildups. However, it is not caused by alcohol abuse, and it requires you to have more than five percent of fat in the liver.
As fat built up, it can cause inflammation and symptoms for this particular problem are:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
If you do not treat it, it can progress to cirrhosis or even worse liver cancer that could lead to overall failure.
Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
This is a rare condition and life-threatening complication that affects most pregnant women. You will notice signs and symptoms in the third trimester, and that includes:
- A headache
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Persistent vomiting and nausea
- Decreased appetite
- General malaise
If you are pregnant and you notice these symptoms or signs, you should pass the evaluation for this particular condition. This specific treatment is vital because it will affect complications when it comes to delivery.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver
As you can see from everything that we have mentioned above, alcohol abuse is the earliest stage of alcohol-related liver issues. It requires heavy drinking that damages the liver, and you will not be able to break these fats as results due to binge drinking.
At the same time, when you decide to abstain from alcohol, you will be able to reduce the amount of fatty liver, and it will start to decrease as the results. After six weeks of avoiding alcohol, the fat can completely disappear.
However, in case that you continue with excessive alcohol intake, you can create a more significant issue such as inflammation known as steatohepatitis, which could lead to cirrhosis.
How to Diagnose Fatty Liver?
The best way to diagnose fatty liver is through a physical exam and blood tests. In case that you feature liver inflammation, the doctor will be able to detect it by checking out your abdomen for enlarger liver.
However, you can get inflammation without enlargement, so you should tell your doctor whether you experience symptoms such as loss of appetite and fatigue. You should also say to the doctor about your history of supplementation, medication and alcohol use.
If you conduct a blood test, your doctor can check the levels of your liver enzymes. If they appear higher than average on a routine blood test, this will confirm the diagnosis of fatty liver, and it could also provide your doctor idea whether you have inflammation or not.