Fatty liver disease covers a range of conditions where there is a build-up of fat in the liver cells. It may be caused by various diseases, such as in chronic alcoholism and obesity . Simple fatty liver usually does not damage the liver, but is a condition that can be identified by taking a sample of liver tissue (liver biopsy) and examining it under a microscope. All of the stages of NAFLD have in common the accumulation of fat (fatty infiltration) in the liver cells (hepatocytes). Yet, in many respects, the histological picture of NAFLD (when we look at a biopsy piece of liver under the microscope) is similar to what can be seen in liver disease that is due to excessive intake of alcohol. As we shall see, however, the clinical circumstances in NAFLD and NASH are very different from those in alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Causes of Fatty Liver Disease
The common Causes of Fatty Liver Disease :
Several risk factors may be cofactors required for the development of advanced ALD.
Minimum amounts of alcohol intake associated with an increased risk for developing ALD range from 40-80 g/d for 10-12 years.
Obesity and dietary habits have been implicated in individual susceptibility to ALD.
Several studies demonstrate a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody in patients with ALD, as well as iron overload.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
Some Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease :
Loss of appetite.
Swelling of your legs and feet from retained fluid (edema).
Abdominal pain and tenderness.
Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease
Strict management of diabetes with diet, medications or insulin lowers blood sugar, which may prevent further liver damage. It also may reduce the amount of accumulated fat in your liver.
Controlling elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides with diet, exercise and cholesterol-lowering medications may help stabilize or reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
If you have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease especially nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) don’t drink alcohol. Also avoid medications and other substances that can cause liver damage. Talk to your doctor about which ones to avoid.
Researchers are studying the effects of several medications on insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in people with and without diabetes. These include metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia) and betaine (Cystadane).