#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Fatty Liver

Q: Good evening doc . Please i need your advice, i went for scan and i was told my liver is accumulating some fat. I am confused because I don’t even taste alcohol. So doctor what do I do?

A: Hello! Thanks for writing in.

Unfortunately, fatty liver can occur in people who do not take alcohol. It’s actually also referred to as non-alcoholic fatty liver. In this condition, there is inflammation of the liver. As the liver tries to stop the inflammation, scarring of the liver tissue occurs. With more inflammation, more scarring occurs and fibrous tissue spreads to take up more and more space in the liver. If this continues uninterrupted, the abdomen starts to swell as fluid builds up in the abdomen, the veins in the esophagus, swell, rupture and bleed, confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech may also occur. Yellowness of the eyes and enlarged breasts in men could also occur. Ultimately, the person may end up with liver cancer and end-stage liver failure. Having said all this, it is important to note that not everyone with non-alcoholic liver disease progresses to cirrhosis.

This condition usually does not present with symptoms. Where they exist, the patient may complain of upper right abdominal pain and perhaps, tiredness. This condition is common in people around the ages of 40 to 50 years with risk factors for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Although the exact cause of this condition is not known, it is thought to be associated with being overweight, high blood sugar and high blood fat (triglycerides) in the blood. The risk factors to developing this condition include:

To prevent this ab initio, it’s the 3 things we talk about often:

  • Diet: eat healthier. More fruits, veggies, healthy fats, whole grains.
  • Exercise: At least 150 minutes every week.
  • Maintain a normal body weight. Be guided by your BMI and try to lose some calories daily as you also reduce your intake

If you already have the disease, the steps above can help you control the disease. In addition:

  • Avoid alcohol or any other toxin that could cause further damage to your liver eg herbal medicines etc

So, I suggest you have a long chat with your doctor about treatment options available to you – this would typically start with lifestyle modifications focused on weight, diet and exercise. If cirrhosis occurs, liver transplantation is an option.

All the best!

Have a good evening, y’all 😀

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