Fatty Liver Disorder

What is Fatty Liver Disorder:-

Fatty liver is just what its name suggests, the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells. It is normal for your liver to contain some fat. But if fat accounts for more than 10% of your liver’s weight, then you have fatty liver. It may cause no damage, but sometimes the excess fat leads to inflammation of the liver. This condition, called steato-hepatitis, does cause liver damage.

Heavy alcohol use can lead to fatty liver and inflammation, usually called alcoholic hepatitis. Steatohepatitis resembles alcoholic hepatitis, but it can and does occur in people who seldom or never drink alcohol. In this instance, it is often called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. Both alcoholic hepatitis and steatohepatitis can lead to serious liver damage and cirrhosis.

Studies have shown that many people who are significantly overweight have developed, or will develop, steatohepatitis. It can also occur with rapid weight loss. Steatohepatitis has been connected to estrogen hormones in some women. In the case of diabetes mellitus, steatohepatitis may develop only in those patients whose diabetes is not properly controlled.

The prevalance of fatty liver disorder in the general population ranges from 10 to 24% in various countries. However, the condition is observed in upto 75% of obese people, 35% of whom will progress to non-alcoholic fatty liver disorder, despite no evidence of excessive alcohol consumption. It is the most common cause of abnormal liver function test in the USA. NASH is one of the top three leading causes of CIRRHOSIS.

The treatment of fatty liver depends upon what is causing it, and generally, treating the underlying cause will reverse the process of steatosis if implemented at early stage.

In most instances, treatment of fatty liver and steatohepatitis requires control of the underlying conditions. This may include reduction of high blood triglycerides, good control of diabetes, or not drinking alcohol. In some cases, surgical reversal of intestinal bypass for obesity is required.

In Conventional medicine, effective drug treatment of liver disease is very limited, and is often restricted to treating the symptoms and preventing the complications.

Moreover, people with liver disease or dysfunction need to be very careful about the allopathic medicines they choose to take as many common prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be toxic to the liver and severly worsen the condition and functioning of this important organ.

If ignored or left untreated, many liver diseases will lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the liver and can be a significant threat to your health. But not much is offered by allopathic mode of treatment towards this end.

However, homeopathy can be tried safely. The medicines are by nature gentle because it treats liver problems – or for that matter any other problem – by treating the person as a whole and each person individually. Sensitive persons require altogether different remedies and dosages than robust types.

Homeopathic treatment treats the liver sluggishness while the patient changes his diet to clear out the excess toxic materials from his body.

Remedies improves the functioning of the liver and promote health.

Homeopathy prevents problems associated with a sluggish liver such as depressed immune system, constant fatigue, obesity, sluggish digestive system, allergies, respiratory ailments, unhealthy skin, irritability and so on.

The medicines treat liver disease and prevent further damage to the liver in diseases like viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver, hemochromatosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and Wilson’s disease.

Remedies prevent healthy liver from damage caused by medications and alcohol.

Homeoapthy improves gall bladder functioning, reduce inflammation and help dissipate gallstones.

The medicines neutralizes toxins and acts as a liver-friendly anti-oxidant, vitamin and mineral supplement.

As the treatment options in allopathy are very limited in a case of fatty liver disorder and liver transplants are uncommon, a holistic approach to liver dysfunction and disease is your best chance of keeping this vital organ healthy and functioning well.

There are 16 homeopathy medicines which give great relief in fatty liver disorder. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus remedies are tailor made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same type of drugs.

For optimum cure the homeopathic treatment must be taken seriously for about 12 to 24 months depending upon the severity of each particular case.

Symptoms:-

You may not have signs and symptoms of simple fatty liver (steatosis) or non alcoholic steatohepatitis(NASH). When symptoms do occur, they are usually vague and nonspecific and may include :

  • Fatigue.
  • Malaise.
  • A dull ache in your upper right abdomen, a possible sign of an enlarged liver.
  • At a more advanced stage, such as cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may cause :
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Small, red spider veins under your skin or easy bruising.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Yellowing of your skin and eyes and dark, cola-colored urine.
  • Bleeding from engorged veins in your esophagus or intestines.
  • Loss of interest in sex.
  • Fluid in your abdominal cavity (ascitis).
  • Itching on your hands and feet and eventually on your entire body.
  • Swelling of your legs and feet from retained fluid (edema).
  • Mental confusion.
  • Liver failure.

Causes

It would seem logical that eating fatty foods would cause a fatty liver, but this is not the case. The liver does play an important role in the metabolism or breakdown of fats. Something goes wrong in this process of metabolism, but it is still not known what does cause fat to build up in the liver.

It is known that fat accumulates in the liver with a number of conditions. The most common is OBESITY. Fatty liver is also associated with diabetes mellitus, high blood triglycerides, and the heavy use of alcohol. It may occur with certain illnesses such as TB and malnutrition, intestinal bypass surgery for obesity, excess vitamin A in the body, or the use of certain drugs such as valproid acid and corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisone). Sometimes fatty liver occurs as a complication of pregnancy.

Who is at Risk for Fatty Liver Disorder:-

Most (but not all) fatty liver patients are middle aged and overweight. The risk factors most commonly linked to fatty liver disease are :

  • Overweight (BMI of 25-30).
  • Obesity (BMI above 30).
  • Diabetes.
  • Elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Medications : These include oral corticosteroids (prednisone, hydrocortisone, others), synthetic estrogens for menopause, amiodarone for heart arrhythmias, tamoxifen for breast cancer and methotraxate an immune suppressing medication for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Abdominal surgery.

Diagnosis:-

Because early stage non alcoholic fatty liver disease seldom causes signs and symptoms, so this may be discovered during a routine medical examination. Many cases are detected after patients are ordered liver tests to monitor people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Before diagnosing non alcoholic fatty liver disease, you may be asked for blood tests for other conditions that cause liver damage, such as hepatitis B and C. You will also be inquired about your current and past alcohol consumption. Excess alcohol consumption – three or more drinks a day for men and two or more drinks a day for women – can also cause fatty liver and steatohepatitis.

If the doctor suspects non alcoholic fatty liver disease, you are likely to have certain tests, including :

Liver function tests : A damaged liver releases certain enzymes. If this blood tests show that these enzymes are mildly elevated, it may be a sign that you have liver damage.

Images of the liver obtained by an ultrasound test, CT scan or MRI may suggest the presense of a fatty liver.

Sometimes, a liver biopsy may be done, in which a small sample of liver tissue is obtained through the skin and analyzed under the microscope.

Prevention:-

If you drink, know your limits and do not exceed them. Generally speaking, you may drink one or two drinks a day but avoid drinking everyday.

Avoid allopathic medicines as far as possible because most of them damage the liver.

Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals, which can enter the bloodstream and cause liver damage.