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What is Fatty Liver?

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty Liver (by Asmirah Abdul Rahim, Guardian Pharmacist)

What is fatty liver?
Fatty liver results from accumulation of fats in the liver cells. While excessive alcohol intake is the most common reason, obesity and diabetes are also found to be closely associated with fatty liver.

What causes fatty liver?
Normal functions of the liver include fat production and distribution. Disturbances in the balance between the input and output of fat results in fatty liver.
Specifically, more fat is produced or delivered to the liver than what is taken away from the liver. The net effect is accumulation of fat in the liver.

How do I know if I have fatty liver disease?
Unfortunately, most patients with fatty liver disease do not experience any symptoms. Patients are usually diagnosed or suspected to have fatty liver only if they go for medical check-ups and find that they have abnormal liver function results. However, patients with serious fatty liver disease usually present with symptoms like jaundice (yellowing of the skin, or eye, and general itch), fluid accumulation in the body, or mental changes. In more severe cases, patients may present with coma and liver cancer.

What should I do if I have fatty liver disease?
There is no cure for fatty liver disease. Certain medications and supplements can be started to slow down the progression of the disease and to treat underlying conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. It is advisable for patients to maintain a healthy weight by eating healthily and exercising regularly. Additionally, alcohol should be strictly avoided since it may worsen the condition of the liver.

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