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Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Healty Liver has little or no fat, but due to current lifestyle including diet changes and sedentary lifestyle leads to Fatty Liver disease, seen in 1 in every 3rd individual.

Early NAFLD causes no major harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage called Cirrhosis.

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Fatty Liver Disease

Doctors who treats these Conditions

Dr Chandra Puli

(18 Years UK Experience)

Early-stage NAFLD does not usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse.

Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of serious health problems, such as diabeteshigh blood pressure and kidney disease.

If you already have diabetes, NAFLD increases your chance of developing heart problems.

If detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop NAFLD getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

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Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NASH)
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Symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

They are usually asymptomsatic in the early stages. You probably will not know you have it unless it’s diagnosed during tests carried out for another reason.

Occasionally, people with NASH or fibrosis (more advanced stages of NAFLD) may experience:

a dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right side of the ribs)
extreme tiredness
weight loss
If cirrhosis (the most advanced stage) develops, you can get more severe symptoms, such as yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes jaundice, itchy skin, and swelling in the legs, ankles, feet or tummy called ascites.

Am I at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

You’re at an increased risk of NAFLD if you:

  • are obese or overweight – particularly if you have a lot of fat around your waist (an “apple-like” body shape)
  • have type 2 diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • have metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity)
  • are over the age of 50
  • smoke

But NAFLD has been diagnosed in people without any of these risk factors, including young children.

Although it’s very similar to alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), NAFLD is not caused by drinking too much alcohol.

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NAFLD develops in 4 main stages.
Most people will only ever develop the first stage, usually without realising it.
In a small number of cases, it can progress and eventually lead to liver damage if not detected and managed.
The main stages of NAFLD are:

  1. simple fatty liver (steatosis) 
  2. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  3. fibrosis 
  4. cirrhosis 
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NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function testproduces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.
But blood tests do not always pick up NAFLD.
The condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy.
This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body.
If you’re diagnosed with NAFLD, further tests may be needed to determine which stage you have. This may involve a special blood test or having another type of ultrasound scan (Fibroscan).
Some people may also need a biopsy, where a small sample of liver tissue is taken using a needle so it can be analysed in a laboratory.

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Should you worry?

Fatty Liver disease is assosiated with other metabolic syndrom including Diabetes, Hypertention, High Cholestrol, Heart problems like Ischaemic heart disease.

Fatty liver disease can progress in to liver cirrhosis.

Expert opinion on fatty liver disease, contact or book an appointment with Dr Puli

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People may wish to talk to a doctor about gastrointestinal symptoms that may be a sign of underlying conditions, including infections, digestive conditions, or abnormal growths.

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Prevention Tips

Things you can do to help Fatty Liver Disease

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the main way of managing NAFLD.

For example, it can help to: 

  • Losing weight– aim for a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, losing more than 10% of your weight can remove some fat from the liver and improve NASH if you have it
  • Healthy Eating– try to have a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates, but low in fat, sugar and salt; eating smaller portions of food can help, too
  • Regular Exercise– aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as walking or cycling, a week; all types of exercise can help improve NAFLD, even if you do not lose weight
  • Stop Smoking– if you smoke, stopping can help reduce your risk of problems such as heart attacks and strokes

NAFLD is not caused by alcohol, but drinking may make it worse. It’s therefore advisable to cut down or stop drinking alcohol.