Your liver could be in trouble- Fatty liver disease


Most people probably heard about liver disease, but what about fatty liver disease? According to research, a fatty liver may be the primary cause of heart disease. Generally, a small amount of fat in liver is considered normal but when it is more than 5%-10% of your organ weight, it is suggested that you can have fatty liver disease.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

As usual, disease related to liver usually has no obvious symptoms. However, when as time goes by, there will be some symptoms like:

  • tiredness

  • weight loss

  • pain in the upper part of abdomen, due to liver getting larger

  • dark or coloured patches on skin on your neck or under your arms.


What is fatty liver Disease?

There are two types of fatty liver disease:
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)

Alcoholic liver disease, as the name would suggest, is caused by heavy drinking of alcohol. It is the earliest stage of alcohol-related disease. Besides that, it might even turn up after a short period of heavy drinking. Heavy drinking will lead to liver dysfunction on breakdown the fats. However, ALD is reversible, once you stop drinking for 2 weeks, your liver should be back to normal.

Furthermore, there are other factors that may put you at a higher risk of getting ALD:

  1. Hepatitis C

  2. too much iron in your body

  3. obesity

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease happens when the excessive fat is not caused by alcohol. Till today, the exact cause of this disease is unclear but it is highly related with families. Besides that, peoples with NAFLD are often associated with high cholesterol and diabetes. Some studies also show that too much bacteria in the small intestine and other changes in the intestine may be linked  to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


How is fatty liver diagnosed?

Physical tests 

The doctor will examine your abdomen and might find that your liver is larger than usual.
Blood test

Blood test is also one of the easier ways to check if your liver is functioning well. If the results of your blood test shows the liver enzymes are higher than normal, then there is a high risk that you might get fatty liver disease.

Ultrasound uses sound waves to get a picture of your liver. By studying the image, the fat can be detected and show up as a white area on the ultrasound image. However, the image studies cannot provide the insight of further damage.

During a biopsy, doctor will insert a needle through the skin into the liver to collect a tiny piece of liver. The tiny piece will be examined under a microscope to identify the sign of fats, inflammation and damaged liver cell. You probably would not want to go through this because it sounds painful but the doctor will actually give you a local anaesthesia to lessen your pain. Besides that, this method is also the only way of giving precise diagnosis on fatty liver and the cause.



How to treat a fatty liver disease?

There is no specific treatment for fatty liver. The doctor will advise you to reduce the probable causative factors. These are some recommendation to avoid a fatty liver:

  • Reduce or avoiding taking alcohol drinks.

  • Manage your cholesterol level

  • Control blood sugar

  • Indulge in physical activity at least one or twice a week.

After the brain, the liver is the most complex organ in human body. It nevertheless plays a crucial role in our body function but most of the liver-related diseases unfortunately don't show obvious symptoms.
So, do you know how your liver is doing?

If you are not, do not hesitate again. Click here






by Kay

A lost guy adopted by GetDoc and wish to grow with them. View all articles by Kay.


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