A fatty liver sounds like something
reserved for big drinkers. Then, as a yoga instructor and runner who drinks in
moderation, I was unfortunately surprised when I was diagnosed with this. But,
as a result, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. The American Association for
the Study of Liver Diseases estimates that approximately 25 percent of
Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and that number includes many
healthy young women.
What Is Non-Alcoholic
Fatty Liver Disease:
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is as it sounds: fat in the liver, but not due to alcohol consumption. And although high body weight and diabetes can increase your risk, you can develop this problem in any shape, size or health. In fact, a study published in Digestive Disease Week found that NAFLD in thin patients actually tends to be more deadly.
This is the most common liver condition in the United States, says Monika Sarkar associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, It’s quite surprising. Approximately one in four women has fatty liver. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat droplets are deposited inside the main cells (known as hepatocytes) in the liver, commonly due to excess fat, carbohydrates and sugars in the diet and metabolic risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and visceral.
Is Fatty Liver Disease
For many people, fat in the liver does not cause liver damage, but in about a quarter of people with fatty liver, that fat will cause inflammation and possible scarring in the liver says Dr. Sarkar. Over time, this inflammation and scarring can lead to the risk of liver cancer and impaired liver function.
That is why some people with cirrhosis will need a liver transplant Of course not all women with a fatty liver will need a liver transplant. If the condition progresses to include inflammation or scarring NAFLD becomes what is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. This occurs in approximately 20 percent of all patients with NAFLD and is more likely in women than in men, according to the American Liver Foundation. Doctors can only make a diagnosis of NASH after a liver biopsy.
If the scarring is severe or in the worst stage, it is considered cirrhosis and causes a liver transplant. The liver is a key organ for human survival,” says Dr. Sarkar. It is responsible for detoxifying your body from the things you eat and also produces many important proteins, such as those you need to help your blood to clot. When the liver fails, it affects all the organs of the body.
How To Identify Non-Alcoholic
Fatty Liver Disease:
Unfortunately, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is asymptomatic While there is no routine evaluation for NAFLD, it suggests keeping up with all age-appropriate assessments in order to detect risk factors. Prediabetes, diabetes and insulin resistance are warning signs, he adds. In fact, some statistics report that more than half of people with type 2 diabetes also have NAFLD.
In addition, a panel of liver enzymes can provide useful information: high liver enzymes indicate inflammation and low enzymes can be reassuring but cannot rule out inflammation, but do not act as a diagnosis. Some non-invasive tests, including images, are increasingly used to detect NAFLD, but in some cases a liver biopsy may be required. Another possible precursor of the condition is actually polycystic ovary syndrome.
Women with PCOS tend to have high androgens, irregular periods and ultrasounds that show a larger number and size of follicles. While it is not entirely clear why the two conditions are connected, some studies indicate that the high level of androgens could play a role in some way. (Related: everything you need to know about polycystic ovarian syndrome
What To Do If You
Have Fatty Liver Disease:
Although there are no FDA-approved medications to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Dr. Sarkar says that if he has liver damage due to the condition, there are things he can do to reduce or even reverse the effects Lose weight if necessary. A high quality diet and increased activity can reduce inflammation in people with NAFLD or not, and Dr. Sarkar says that weight loss, if appropriate, can go back or even reverse the amount of fat in the liver.
However, you would need to lose approximately five to seven percent of your body weight to improve the amount of fat in the liver and ten percent to see a decrease in inflammation. Improve your diet. Although fat in food does not cause fat to settle directly in the liver, the choice of food can have an impact. For example, one study found a decrease in the severity of NAFLD in patients who followed a low-glycemic Mediterranean diet. If you already have a healthy weight, small changes in your eating patterns still make a difference.
Research suggests that breastfeeding can help with insulin resistance and protect women against type 2 diabetes, two known risk factors for NAFLD. These potential benefits could even transcend the baby, as research found that a child who exclusively breastfed for at least six months had a reduced risk of NAFLD as an adult later in life.