Fatty Liver Disease – An Overview

fatty liver diseaseFatty liver is a term that describes the build up of too much fat in the liver. It is normal to have some amount of fat in the liver. But if it crosses more than 5 to 10% of the organ’s weight, it means you have the fatty liver disease. Alcohol consumption is one of the key causes of this disease. Hence if you have the habit of drinking then stop it immediately. Fatty liver disease is mainly of two types: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). You may also get this condition during pregnancy.

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to alcoholic liver disease. It may even exist after a short period of heavy drinking. Genetics also plays a role in alcoholic liver disease and the genes may pass down from your parents. These genes affect the chances of you becoming an alcoholic. Also it has an impact on the way in which your body may break down the alcohol you drink. Other risk factors of ALD include the following:

  1. Being obese
  2. Hepatitis C
  3. Too much iron in the body

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

There is no clear proof as to what causes this type of fatty liver disease. It has a tendency to run in families. This condition is likely to occur in people who are middle aged and obese or overweight. These people also tend to have diabetes and high cholesterol. Other causes of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease include the following:

  1. Fast weight loss
  2. Medications
  3. Malnutrition
  4. Viral hepatitis
  5. Inherited or autoimmune liver disease

Some studies show that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can also be caused by too much bacteria in your small intestine and any other changes in the intestine.

Acute Fatty Liver During Pregnancy

It is quite rare. When you are pregnant, fat can build up in the liver. This may be risky for both you and your baby leading to kidney or liver failure in either one of you. It may also lead to bleeding or a serious infection. There is no scientific evidence as to what causes fatty liver during pregnancy. But hormones sure play a role. If you get diagnosed with this condition during pregnancy, it becomes important that your baby comes out as early as possible. Even though you will need to be in intensive care for several days, within a few weeks time, your liver may return to normal.

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