A collection of fats in the liver cells is called fatty liver. This condition is also called steatosis hepatitis or steatorrhoeic hepatosis.

Fatty liver by itself through abnormal is a relatively harmless condition. The liver is the largest organ in the human body. It plays many roles in keeping the biochemical balance intact.

Fatty liver has large amounts of fats (triglycerides) accumulating within the liver cells. Excess aggregation of fats within the small hepatocytes swells them up and occasionally the whole liver is enlarged enough for feeling it.

Fatty liver can be a harbinger of more troublesome conditions. Steatosis simply means a collection of fat vacuoles within the liver cells (hepatocytes).

Alcohol and obesity are two leading causes of fatty liver worldwide. Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) and Alcoholic Fatty Liver (AFL) are entities by themselves. Obesity plus other non-alcoholic conditions comprise Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease (NALD).

When these fat cells cause inflammation of the liver tissues, it’s called steatotic hepatitis and it is of notable concern. Both alcohol, as well as other conditions causing major biochemical changes in our bodies, can cause steatotic hepatitis. When this condition is due to reasons other than alcohol, it’s denoted by the term Non-Alcoholic Steatotic Hepatitis or more commonly as NASH.

Fatty liver when inflamed, can over a period of time cause scarring and fibrosis of the liver. This condition called cirrhosis is serious and has serious side-effects if left unchecked

Fatty liver as mentioned is not a critical condition, its stages of development are divided into grades

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3

Grade 1 and grade 2 of fatty liver can be controlled with proper medication.

Why fatty liver occurs, is unknown. A fatty diet or overeating by itself never results in a fatty liver. The fat may come from increased absorption from the intestines or from elsewhere in the body. But, putting it generally, the liver loses its capacity to eliminate fats deposited within it.
Yet, 70% of persons suffering from NASH are found to be obese.

The mild Fatty liver is usually asymptomatic. It is detected incidentally during routine tests performed. However, some persons can have symptoms which are often vague.

  • Malaise – or a feeling of severe discomfort, making the person want to rest,
  • Fatigue – even with moderate exertion
  • Fullness and heaviness in the abdomen, more in the right upper corner
  • Occasionally the liver maybe painful on pressure.

However, fatty liver unchecked can progress to cirrhosis which is life-threatening. Thereafter, features of liver failure present themselves.

  • Yellowish discoloration of the skin (jaundice), dark colored urine.
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild to moderate reddish discolorations just below the superficial skin layers which blanch on pressure (spider naevi)
  • Abdominal dissension (due to increased fluid in the abdomen – ascites)
  • Easy bleeds from small trauma.
  • Blood doesn’t clot soon enough
  • Fine to moderate tremors of the fingers
  • Flapping tremors of the hands (asterixis)
  • Itching in hands and legs which gradually spread all over the body
  • Veins in legs, abdomen, seem engorged and distended.
  • Giddiness.
  • Poor memory, poor concentration, dullness of thoughts, mental confusion » this is an emergency (encephalopathy)!!
  • Depression
  • Loss of sexual interest

Commonly, the diagnosis is incidental. Some tests which identify the disorder are:-

  • Ultrasound (Ultrasonography): A painless, non-invasive test, when performed by an experienced personnel, it can accurately identify fatty liver. The liver size can be measured and this test can be valuable in grading the improvement.
  • Liver Function Tests: Abnormal levels of liver enzymes in the blood identify as well as provide a deeper understanding of the cause of fatty liver. This test also provides insight into the efficacy of treatment and the improvement to be expected.
  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan): non-invasive. Measures internal organs accurately and in detail by the use of X-rays.
  • MRI: Also non-invasive. Uses radio waves in a magnetic field to scan the structures of internal organs.
  • Say No To Alcohol
    Or if you have started having alcohol, try not to have more than two pegs in a week.
  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking can cause many biochemical and hemodynamic changes which make you more vulnerable to liver damage.
  • Control Weight Gain
    70% of persons suffering from NASH are found to be obese.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Found to be promising in preventing fatty liver. Found in natural sources like walnuts, fish oils (cod, salmons), and flaxseed oils.

Homeopathy addresses the underlying causes of fatty liver, improves liver functions and reduces the symptoms as well as modifies the disease process. Homeopathy is recommended for cases of Fatty Liver

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