Symptoms and Risk Factors of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, also known as NAFLD is actually a group of conditions where the fat builds up in the liver, and that causes inflammation of the cells and increases the liver.
This also can progress to more severe conditions, such as cirrhosis and fibrosis of the liver.
In fact, this is a common disease for obese or overweight individuals, as well as those that have type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors for NAFLD are:
- being over 50 years old
- being overweight or obese
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- Rapid weight loss after malnourishment or surgery
Type 1 diabetes does not increase the risk of NAFLD on its own, but other factors like those above mentioned might do.
Does Having Liver Disease Increase the Risk of Diabetes?
People with NAFLD have a bigger risk of obtaining cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The Symptoms of the NAFLD
For this condition, usually, there are no symptoms until stage two. In case NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) occurs you might feel pain in the stomach.
The symptoms of cirrhosis are:
- Weight loss
Also, another symptom is that fine capillaries might appear on the skin above the waist level. Also, one more symptom is ascites i.e. build-up of fluid in the stomach that might appear as pregnancy in each gender.
Fatty Liver Disease Prevention
Fatty liver disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes seem to go together. However, it does not mean that if we have any of those two that we will get fatty liver disease.
Since high levels of triglycerides, obesity and insulin resistance can increase the chance of developing fatty liver disease, treating these condition might prevent the development.
How to Treat NAFLD?
We can lower the amount of fat in our liver with exercise and weight loss. In some more severe cases, it is advised to have obesity surgery.
Treatment of related conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease might need lifestyle intervention. Therefore, we need to maintain a healthy balanced diet, stop smoking, get fitter and exercise on a regular basis.
Also, another thing we can do is avoid alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol might make the NAFLD worse.