Obesity: Liver Damage Equals Alcohol Abuse
August 20, 2019
Doctors across the world concur that obesity is deemed to be as risky as alcohol abuse. In fact, obesity may even overtake alcohol as the main cause of liver cirrhosis in the “not too distant future.” Most people are unaware that non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is linked to excess weight. Both NAFL and NASH can cause serious liver cirrhosis, which is the end stage – an irreversible scarring that causes the organ to deteriorate.
Surveys conducted by health organizations have found that while the majority understood that obesity could cause diabetes, high blood pressure and infertility, but few understood its link to certain cancers or liver problems.
The prevailing theory is that the condition gets started because of insulin resistance, which is, in turn, frequently a consequence of obesity and excess fat tissue in the abdomen. When people are insulin resistant, there is an increase in the amount of free fatty acids circulating in the blood. Fatty liver disease occurs when some of those fat molecules accumulate inside liver cells. Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is a generally benign condition that has become increasingly common across the world as weight gain and obesity have become more common. It is now the most common cause of liver disorder in India as well as other countries.
In NAFL, the liver functions normally and there are no symptoms. NAFL is often found when a person has imaging tests of the abdomen for other reasons (such as an ultrasound being done to look for gallstones). If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can reduce the amount of fat in your liver. Aside from this, there is no treatment for NAFL, although you should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B (which can damage your liver) if you are not already immune.
When liver cells are inflamed and cause damage to surrounding liver tissue, especially if excess alcohol is not involved, the condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH.
NASH is often a relatively stable, low-grade condition that people live with for years, with few if any symptoms. However, when liver tries to regenerate itself, an abundance of scar tissues are formed, causing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is irreversible and can lead to total failure of the liver. It also is associated with an increased risk for developing liver cancer.
The progression of NAFL and NASH can be easily curtailed with weight loss methods such as:
- Diet changes with incorporation vegetables, fibre and fruits.
- Increase in physical activity
NAFLD has two bright spots that patients can take-home. First, most cases stay relatively stable and don’t result in serious liver disease. Second, the treatment is not an expensive drug with side effects, but losing weight — and that will benefit many other parts of the body besides the liver.
WHY Rela Hospital?
Rela Hospital has always been a pioneer in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease treatment in Chennai. It has also been considered the best hospital for treatment of NASH in India. Our fatty liver specialist in Chennai, India have always been successful in controlling the cases and helping patients in their journey towards a healthy future. Liver gets a life here!