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15- Sep-2021

What causes Fatty Liver? Top fatty liver symptoms

What causes Fatty Liver? Top fatty liver symptoms
Dietitian. Palak Agrawal
Dietitian. Palak Agrawal
M.Sc - Food Science and Nutrition.

Want to know the about the causes and symptoms associated to fatty liver? This read is worth it.

Heard about fatty liver? Yes, it has become a common ailment affecting almost 25% of the population globally.

Fatty liver is one of the repercussions of sedentary lifestyle. It belongs to the conditions related to the metabolic syndrome like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

As the name suggests, fatty liver is a condition in which there is fat deposition in the liver cells. Some amount of fat is naturally present in the liver but if the levels go more than 5% then it is a matter of concern.

Let's understand about the different types and stages of fatty liver:

There are 4 stages of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):

  • Stage 1: Steatosis (Simple fatty liver) - It is the stage which is reversible and often goes unrecognized. There are no noticeable symptoms in this stage.
  • Stage 2: Non - alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) - It is a condition where the liver inflammation and damage is increased and more prevalent in diabetics, obese individuals.
  • Stage 3: Fibrosis - The liver functions normally but there is scar tissue formation with persistent inflammation around blood vessels.
  • Stage 4: Cirrhosis - It is a severe stage where fibroid formation replaces normal liver tissues affecting the liver structure and function. It may lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

There are 3 stages of Alcoholic fatty liver:

  1. Stage 1: Steatosis (Fatty liver) - It is a condition which occurs during the initial years of alcohol abuse. It leads to excess fat deposition inside liver cells
  2. Stage 2: Alcoholic Hepatitis - The condition is further degenerated leading to inflammation. A common symptom here is jaundice.
  3. Stage 3: Liver cirrhosis - It is the final stage where irreversible damage is done leading to scarring of liver tissues.

There are multiple causes that lead to fatty liver. Listing a few here:

  • Excess belly fat/obesity - Around 30-90% obese individuals have NAFLD, a major concern nowadays.
  • Insulin resistance - Insulin resistance has become common but special care must be taken for its progression. This will not only lead to increased fat deposition in the liver but also other diseases like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are more prone to develop fatty liver and with greater progression rates.
  • Unmindful eating patterns - Not only alcohol but overconsumption of refined carbs, sugars, processed foods like soda, chips, burgers, candies, etc has a direct impact on your liver. It leads to more fat stores in the liver and causes fatty liver. Children may also suffer from this condition because of lack of awareness and overconsumption of junk and processed food.

It is quite possible that you don't even realise that you have fatty liver symptoms as they show at a relatively later stage.

To name a few you may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Elevation in liver enzyme levels - AST, ALT
  • Increased triglycerides, insulin levels
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Yellowness in eyes and skin

It is important to do regular blood tests so that fatty liver can be determined at an earlier stage and can be reversed.

You can try BestSource Nutrition's Milk thistle supplement which may support liver health. Milk thistle has silymarin as an active ingredient which acts as an antioxidant and may encourage liver cell repair and rejuvenation. Antioxidant properties of silymarin would help in liver health condition as it would scavenge free radicals to prevent oxidative damage in the liver. Silymarin Milk thistle is a standardized and trustworthy supplement and should be taken under medical surveillance.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.
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