Your liver has 500 vital functions -from regulating most of the chemicals in your body, filtering the blood from your stomach and intestines of drugs and other substances, to helping dispose of waste from the body, and more. It is said that without a functioning liver, one cannot survive.
Fatty Liver occurs when your liver stores too much fat. Fatty liver disease or “Hepatic Steatosis” means you have a build-up of fat in your liver cells and it makes it harder for your liver to work.
- → If the excess fat in your liver is from alcohol, you have Alcohol-related Fatty Liver Disease (ALD).
- → If the excess fat in your liver is not from alcohol, you have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) can be broken down into two categories:
- Simple Fatty Liver Disease means you have fat in your liver but inflammation or liver damage is absent.
- Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) means the fat build-up in your liver is or will be causing more problems for you and your liver. This is a more serious case as inflammation is present, as well as, cell damage, or it is most likely to occur.
- CELL DAMAGE with NASH can lead to fibrosis (tissue scarring in the liver that impairs your liver and when unchecked can turn into cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
Alcoholic-related Liver Disease (ALD)
Having an Alcoholic-related Liver Disease (ALD) is preventable and usually reversible, as soon as you stop drinking alcohol, from worsening to:
- Having an Enlarged Liver that causes pain and discomfort on the upper right side of your belly.
- Alcoholic Hepatitis is the swelling of the liver usually accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and jaundice(yellowing of the skin and eyes).
- Alcoholic Cirrhosis occurs when there is too much scarred liver tissue. Damage has been severe therefore scarring is severe. Liver function is severely negatively affected and causes:
- → Fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and jaundice
- → Large amount of fluid build up in your belly (also known as Ascites)
- → High blood pressure in the liver
- → Bleeding in your body (Internal hemorrhage)
- → Enlarged Spleen
- → Confusion and changes in behavior
- → Liver Failure
What to do when you have a Fatty Liver Disease?
- Exercise. Staying active helps burn those excess fat.
- Be kind to your liver. Be mindful of your food intake -less greasy, fatty foods.
- Reduce or avoid alcohol intake.
- Take only necessary medications and as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Get your cholesterol down. Choose foods that will help lower your cholesterol. Eat a nutrient-rich diet that’s low in excess calories, saturated fat, and trans fats.
These signs and symptoms could signal an underlying digestive condition. Intestinal symptoms can be embarrassing — but don’t let embarrassment keep you from seeking help.