Fatty liver disease, or hepatic steatosis, is a dangerous disorder that requires medical diagnosis due to the storage of extra fat in the liver. The medical fraternity has so far been confused about this liver disease due to the absence of any known causes and symptoms.
BUPA outlines symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been the subject of numerous studies and research due to its evolving nature, which has caused several deaths worldwide at an increasing rate in the last few decades.
The two commonly understood causes of NAFLD are excessive alcohol consumption and obesity. However, there is no substance or widely recognized research that can substantiate the causal link.
A common cause of fatty liver disease is high levels of alcohol consumption, but it is not the only cause. The disease also occurs due to other conditions like excessive calorie intake and the presence of other conditions like diabetes and obesity.
However, symptoms of the disease were said to be elusive, with generic symptoms such as fatigue and weight loss indicating a potential disorder. It is especially dangerous when no symptoms occur and the individual’s condition worsens.
- Constant feeling of being uncomfortable and physically tired
- Pain or discomfort in the right side of the abdomen, just below the ribs.
Right now, there is no standard medicine prescribed for the condition. However, there are still some remedial procedures that can be put in place.
BUPA said changing its diet to whole-grain carbohydrates like bread and pasta, which are rich in fiber, is one.
Studies have also shown that a 5-10% reduction in weight loss among obese people can also reduce hepatitis.
Although there are certain drugs under development that can be used to treat NAFLD, medical experts suggest dietary and lifestyle changes are the primary response to treating NAFLD.
The health care provider further added that just like the symptoms leading up to the condition, there is also an absence of any identifiable causes of fat buildup in one’s liver. They also said that blood tests or an ultrasound scan are the only ways to detect the condition.
BUPA mentioned 5 factors that could potentially increase the risk of fat building up in the liver, which is High Blood Pressure, Extreme Fat in the Body, Type 2 Diabetes, Inheritance and Extra Weight around the center of the body.
However, a recent study conducted at the University Hospital Center in Blida, Algeria, has shown a link between a vitamin D deficiency and NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease).
The study, published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, also quantifies a higher risk factor for women due to the combination of metabolic syndrome and acute vitamin D deficiency.
This has come as a surprise where previous studies associated with vitamin D and NAFLD have yielded inconsistent results.
The study included over 800 participants who were tested using a sequential competitive immunofluoro assay method for NAFLD screening. The relationship between metabolic syndrome and NAFLD was investigated using binary logistic regression and additive interaction.
The results showed that vitamin D deficiency was positively related to NAFLD, and women were at greater risk of developing the condition than men.
As NAFLD is a symptom-free condition, it is challenging to detect unless it has developed at an advanced stage. Medical experts have suggested that early detection of the condition is necessary to prevent liver failure, cirrhosis and in some cases liver cancer.