Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is deposition of extra fat in liver cells that is not caused by alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some fat. However, if more than 5% - 10% percent of the liver’s weight is fat, then it is called a fatty liver (steatosis).
RISK FACTORS FOR NAFLD
NAFLD tends to develop in people who are overweight or obese or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to NAFLD.
NAFLD is often asymptomatic.
When symptoms occur, they may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itching, fluid build up and swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites), and mental confusion.
NAFLD is initially suspected if blood tests show high levels of liver enzymes. However, other liver diseases are first ruled out through additional tests. Often, an ultrasound is used to confirm the NAFLD diagnosis.
There are no medical treatments yet for NAFLD. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly may help prevent liver damage from starting or reverse it in the early stages.
See a doctor who specializes in the liver regularly
Talk to your doctor about ways to improve your liver health
Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese
Lower your cholesterol and triglycerides
Control your diabetes
There are few simple ways to prevent NAFLD:
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat a healthy diet
Limit alcohol intake
Only take medicines that you need and follow dosing recommendations.