What is a fatty liver? It is usually defined as the accumulation of fat, commonly liver oil or albumin in the liver tissue. This condition tends to run in families and tends to be more common in those who are overweight. Some common symptoms associated with this condition are increased thirst and hunger, abdominal pain in the area of the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, jaundice, abdominal bloating, dark discoloration of skin and dark urine.
Alcohol abuse, conditions which alter liver enzyme levels such as hypercholesterolemia, hypocalcemia and hepatitis, cancer, and pancreatic cancer are the most common causes of fatty liver. This condition is diagnosed via a blood test called a transesteritoneal ultrasound coupled with computerized tomography (CT) scan. The CT scan helps in identifying the location of the fatty liver cell. The abdominal discomfort and bloating can be felt by someone suffering from this disease. Fatty liver often leads to abdominal discomfort, cramping and indigestion.
This condition is more common among those who are overweight or obese. It is more common among women than among men. People who are over 40 years old or have some type of chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis and hepatitis are more likely to develop fatty liver. The risk of developing this ailment increases with age. Also, people with an abnormal medical history of diabetes, kidney disease, and alcoholism are more likely to develop this ailment.
Another factor which contributes to the development of this disease is a sedentary lifestyle (more later). A physically active lifestyle is important in keeping the liver functioning properly. Being overweight can increase the risk factors for developing fatty liver. It can also be aggravated by having a sedentary lifestyle.
Other factors that may increase the risk of developing fatty liver include being on certain types of medications. Taking medications that affect the liver such as diuretics or alcohol will increase the risk of developing fatty liver. Respiratory medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and medications used for pain control can also increase the risk. When taking any medications which affect the liver, it is important to consult your doctor.
Some of the other conditions which may contribute to fatty liver are: malignancy, liver disease (liver cancer), and certain types of heart disease. Alcohol use and cigarette smoking can also contribute to this condition. People who suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are at a greater risk of developing fatty liver. Other causes of this ailment include the genetic predisposition to having a fatty liver as well as the resistance to insulin and other medications.
The good news about this condition is that unlike some other ailments there are steps that can be taken to treat it. In most cases treatment is non-surgical and usually begins with a reduction in overall body weight. It is important to maintain proper nutrition when undergoing treatment for fatty liver. It is also important to reduce the amount of alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol use can drastically change the functioning of organs, particularly the liver. This condition is very common in people who engage in heavy drinking.
As mentioned earlier, there are other things that can contribute to fatty liver disease and one of them is a sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that people who lead an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop the disease than those who are active. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, it is especially important to make sure that you get plenty of exercise each week. Sedentary lifestyles can also lead to other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Prevention is always better than cure so try to eat a healthy diet and get some regular exercise.