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Fatty Liver

What is it:

In the process of food metabolism, food is broken down into smaller molecules in the stomach. The body then absorbs these smaller molecules into the bloodstream. This blood passes for filtration through the liver. Your liver plays a key role in filtering the blood before passing it to the rest of the body.  Your liver is hence the central hub for the metabolism of dietary carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that travels with the blood. When fat in the blood is metabolized, cholesterol is produced by the liver. When we eat too much of fatty food, this cholesterol starts depositing in the liver and results in “fatty liver”. The good news is that the liver can repair itself until a certain stage of damage (Grade-2 Fatty liver or before), so if you take the necessary steps to treat the underlying causes, you can reverse fatty liver.

Symptoms:

  • Enlarged liver (detected through Abdomen Ultrasound)

  • Fatigue

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

Possible signs and symptoms of severe liver damage (e.g. cirrhosis, advanced scarring) include:

  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)

  • Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface

  • Enlarged breasts in men

  • Enlarged spleen

  • Red palms

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Causes:

  • Overweight or obesity

  • Insulin resistance, in which your cells don't take up sugar in response to the hormone insulin

  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), indicating prediabetes or actual type 2 diabetes

  • High levels of fats, particularly triglycerides, in the blood

How to manage:

  • You can improve your condition by managing your diabetes, if you have it.
  • If you are overweight or obese, do what you can to gradually lose weight.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet and get regular exercise. Limit high-carb foods such as bread, grits, rice, potatoes, and corn. And cut down on drinks with lots of sugar like juice. Diet Changes recommended:
    1. Eat breakfast daily
    2. Watch portion sizes to manage your calorie intake
    3. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
    4. Add fruits and vegetables to snacks
    5. Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet
    6. Select healthy unsaturated fats such as those found in fish, olive oil and nuts