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Fatty Liver: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment | Dr. Rahul Rai (Prof.)

Hello friends, my name is Dr. Rahul Rai,

I am a Liver Specialist at Narayana Multi Specialty Hospital, Jaipur.

Today we will talk about very important topic which is very common

and many people don’t know at all about this ailment, they have lack of knowledge about it.

So today's topic is about Fatty Liver.

Today we shall talk about Fatty Liver.

Fatty Liver is a medical condition in which

gradually fats build up in the liver.

Many people feel if they have fatty liver then all the stomach complaints

related to indigestion or gastric are caused by this ailment, but it is not correct at all.

One of the main reasons of fatty liver is consumption of alcohol, apart from that

there are few medicines which can cause the fat to build up in liver.

Apart from that, viral infections such as Hepatitis B,C can cause problems in liver

which can also lead to build up fat in the liver.

In today’s age one new reason has come up which is related to our life style.

Ailments related to lifestyle such as hypertension,

sugar, obesity and high cholesterol in the blood are also some of the reasons.

Cholesterol in blood slowly enters into the liver and becomes reason for Fatty Liver.

We call this ailment Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

In short we call it NAFLD.

Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is which happens due to alcohol consumption.

Both have different reasons but the impact of disease is almost same.

Next question arises is whether this Fatty liver is harmful for human body?

It is seen that in maximum cases

Fatty Liver doesn’t give any problem to patients

but in few people around 15-20% of those who have Fatty Liver,

fat which is there in the liver cells gives swelling or inflammation in the cells.

We call it NASH Phase means Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis.

In few percent of NASH patients this ailment can increase further.

In plain Steatosis or simple Steatosis

where there is no swelling in liver cells it doesn’t harm at all for years.

But in NASH stage where there is swelling in cells, gradually the liver can damage.

Gradually when liver gets swelling, scars occur we call it Scarring.

In 15 to 20 year whole liver becomes scarred and sometimes it fails too.

Even stage occurs where there is a need of Liver transplantation.

But the good thing is, this is very rare condition,

and only 8% people reach up to this level.

As I told you this ailment is very common

so if we talk about general public almost 30% people can have

this NAFLT disease that is Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

And those who have problems of obesity, blood pressure, high cholesterol,

diabetes, 60% of such population can have fatty liver problem.

If we talk about the symptoms of this then at initial stage there are no symptoms at all.

But in almost 10-15% people,

it is seen that in upper right portion of our abdomen there is a dragging sensation or heaviness

which can be due to this disease.

Apart from this there are no other symptoms, they can be seen in very late stage of the ailment.

Hence it is necessary to diagnose this disease at a very early stage so that it can be treated.

Nowadays through body check ups like Ultra Sound, fatty liver can be diagnosed.

Or else if you are doing abdomen Ultra Sound maybe for kidney in that too Fatty Liver can be diagnosed.

In this when we learn if any patient has Fatty Liver

then we try to find out whether it is Plain or Simple Steatosis

or something that we call simple fatty liver,

or is it a NASH as I already said, in NASH stage liver problem can increase further.

From tests we try to find out whether it is NASH or Plain Steatosis.

The tests which we mainly do are blood tests such as AZUT, AZPT, complete liver function

and special test called Fibroscan which is similar to Sonography,

in which we can capture earlier scarring in the liver as well.

Now when we know it is NASH or little Scarring has started then is it curable?

Yes, it is definitely curable.

As we know this is a lifestyle related disease

so the ailments which are causing this if we control them properly such as if we control obesity, BP,

sugar level is normal and if we control the amount of cholesterol in the blood,

then we can prevent this ailment and those who have this disease in advance stage can be cured.

It is seen that if we can reduce our weight by 5 to 10% then

easily this ailment can be controlled.

Healthy lifestyle means daily we should have 30 minutes of fast walking,

we should change our food habits and we should consume less fried and sweet food.

In short we should do 30% reduction of our calories to protect ourselves from these diseases.

At the end I would like to say that as this is lifestyle related ailment

if we control all other diseases and adopt a healthy lifestyle

then we can prevent this ailment and if anybody already has it can be treated.

There are few medicines which are not that much effective

and you should always consume these with doctor’s consultation.

Thank you so much.