NAFLD is a liver disorder characterized by the accumulation of excess fat in liver cells. The condition is primarily associated with individuals who do not consume excessive alcohol.
2 main types of NAFLD are:
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL): Mild form where there is fat accumulation in the liver, but it does not cause significant inflammation or liver damage.
Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH): A more severe form of NAFLD, marked by liver inflammation and potential scarring (fibrosis). If left untreated, NASH can progress to cirrhosis, a condition where liver function is severely impaired.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause is not fully understood. There are several risk factors that can contribute to its development such as,
- Insulin resistance
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
NAFLD often progresses silently, and many individuals may not experience noticeable symptoms until the disease reaches an advanced stage.
Common symptoms may include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal discomfort
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) in severe cases
Diagnosis and Treatment
Early detection is crucial in managing NAFLD.
Diagnosis typically involves:
- Blood tests
- Imaging (Ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI)
- Liver biopsy
Treatment For NAFLD Focuses on Lifestyle Modifications
- Eat a balanced, low-fat diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce fat in the liver.
- Exercise regularly to lose weight and enhance insulin sensitivity, which helps with NAFLD.
- Your doctor might recommend medications for managing specific NAFLD issues.
- Achieving a healthy weight is vital for better liver health, as excess weight is a significant NAFLD risk factor.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is on the rise due to unhealthy lifestyles, but positive changes in diet and exercise can help prevent and even reverse this condition.
[Key Words: NAFLD, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, liver health, obesity, insulin resistance, NASH, lifestyle modifications, liver function, diagnosis, treatment, healthy diet, physical activity, liver biopsy.]