We jump at the sight of Happy Hours. We relish the fast food chains that cater to our junk food cravings, be it at 5 pm, or 5 am. We ignore the many times Coca-Cola itself revealed its sugar content and still gulp down the bottle within minutes as it comes with the tagline –“Open Happiness.”
With unhealthy lifestyles engulfing people of all age groups, fatty liver disease is on the rise today.
Dr. Ajay Choksi details out the fatty liver disease, what causes it, and how it is treated.
What is Fatty Liver Disease?
Your liver can handle up to 15% of fat, which is totally normal. But when the fat goes overboard, and the excess is accumulated in the liver, it is known as fatty liver. There are two broad types of fatty liver:
- Alcoholic fatty liver
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver
What Sparks off Fatty Liver Disease?
Alcoholic fatty liver, as the name suggests, is caused due to excessive consumption of alcohol. A bunch of factors triggers non-alcoholic fatty liver such as diabetes, obesity, and calories. Usually, a person with a BMI over 30 is prone to this disease, but the world has seen cases in which a BMI such as 25 was also affected. Further, fatty liver is not inclined towards a specific age group.
The ones out there living off Happy Meals, beware. Carbs, fat, junk food and cold drinks are deadly when it comes to fatty liver.
How Can You Know?
More often than not, there are no symptoms. If there are, fatty liver may still go unnoticed due to its symptoms being as ordinary as fatigue, weakness, and tiredness. You may have the disease but may blame the lethargy on the movie marathons you pull off every night.
A common symptom of alcoholic fatty liver is nausea. If the disease has led to an advanced complication, however, then you may have all the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis of liver such as loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin, itching, easy bruising, and tiredness. Cirrhosis is a long-term damage to the liver and involves the loss of liver cells which irreversibly scars the liver.
The Cure: A Lifestyle Modification
The remedy to fatty liver is simple – just stay healthy! In the case of alcoholic fatty liver, you must quit drinking.
In the other case, steer clear of sugar overload. Sugar is not completely lethal as your body requires it for energy, but too much of it is. The excess is turned into fat which ultimately gets stored in the adipose tissues and then the liver.
It doesn’t hurt to exercise a little either. Few minutes a day devoted to cardio does wonders for your body, and it also helps fight fatty liver.
Dr.Choksi also adds that no drug has proved 100% effective in directly attacking the fatty liver, but medicines for regenerating the liver, combating high sugar and diabetes are often used in the battle.
Fatty Liver Disease is not Always Harmful
An important thing to remember, there is no need to panic in usual cases. However, if your sonography report exposes your fatty liver with a high level of Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT), it means you have Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
“This may not always be harmful, but you do need to be extremely cautious,” states Dr. Ajay Choksi.
It is a reason to worry if you notice inflammation of the liver. This would mean that the risk of the liver getting chronically diseased (i.e., cirrhosis of the liver) is higher by about 15%. Once there are traces of cirrhosis of the liver, it leaves you with barely any time as the condition worsens rapidly.
To conclude here, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep you away from the fatty liver. A balanced diet and workout is the way to go!
Fatty liver is something to be cautious about, but not to fear. Therefore, have those burgers, go for the Mojitos and be a part of dessert crawls. Just know when to stop.