Sunday, August 15, 2010

What is Fatty Liver?

Image by Sanja Gjenero, Stock.xchng
Last month, my husband had his executive medical check-up.  The results were not that bad except that it showed he has a fatty liver?  What is a fatty liver? Is it dangerous? Is it something that can be cured?

A fatty liver is the result when fat accumulates in the liver.  It can progress to more serious liver problems like cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer.  Most people would be surprised to have this (just like my husband) because usually it does not cause any sign or symptom.  Thank God because now we know and he can be more cautious in his food choices.

Based on my readings about it, there are 2 types of fatty liver disease: Alcoholic (fatty liver due to excessive alcohol intake) and Nonalcoholic (fatty liver not caused by alcohol intake).  Alcoholic fatty liver disease is easy to reverse - just stop drinking (easier said than done for many) and soon the patient will be having normal liver again. 

With a nonalcoholic fatty liver,  there is no specific medical therapy for treatment.  Doctors do advise that a person with this condition should try to lose weight and exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables and foods with unsaturated fats (the healthy kind of fats from fish, olive oil and nuts).  If they have other medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol, they should also follow strictly medical recommendations for their treatment.

If you want to know more about this condition, I wrote 2 articles about it: Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

1 comment:

A.Marie said...

Wow! I never knew much about fatty liver. I had a friend that was diagnosed with this a few years ago, and I couldn't really understand what she was talking about. Thanks for all of the good info!