Fatty liver is a state in which a liver produces too much bilirubin, is oxidized, and accumulates too much cholesterol, sugar, and triglycerides in its tissues. The accumulation of too much fat causes the liver cells to grow to excessive size. As the liver cells grow they become unstable, but can remain that way until they divide into another set of cells. Then a liver condition is either cancer or cirrhosis. However, in cases where the cirrhosis is caught early it can be reversed with liver transplant or surgery.
The first stage of fatty liver is called the nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the liver damage stage, there might be some fibrosis. The symptoms of NASH are pain and swelling in the upper right part of the abdomen, jaundice, nausea, and vomiting. Unfortunately, the first stage does not show any symptoms.
In the liver disease stages, the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH) is still at first stage. The first symptoms might not occur for several weeks. In the early stages, the disease is still at an immature state. The liver cells might be able to divide normally, but there is still no cell growth. The inflammation can be very mild.
In the second stage, which is the alcoholic liver disease, the fatty liver cells might divide and grow, but there is still no cell growth. The alcohol accumulates in the fatty liver cells, causing them to divide uncontrollably. This will accelerate the growth of the fatty liver tumor or neoplasm. This is also one of the first stages.
In the third stage, the first affects the liver cells that produce bile. Then, the persons’ mental status changes because of the increase in mental and emotional instability, usually resulting to more frequent and severe hepatitis episodes. In the fourth and the final stage of the alcoholic fatty liver disease, the persons experiences liver failure due to the accumulation of the insoluble and the deposits in bile and the portal vein. When this occurs, it is already too late because the person will be suffering from liver cancer.
The liver disease can be treated in several ways. One way is through medication, another is through surgery, and the last is through nutritional therapy. The first treatment is through the medication called anti-fungal drugs such as cimetidine, ranitidine, and merorrhexidine. These medications can be taken in a daily tablet form or as an injection to be placed under the tongue.
On the other hand, the second treatment is through the use of NSAID, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Taking an NSAID can prevent further progression of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease stages, such as fibrosis, or at least, slow down the progress of the liver inflammation. Meanwhile, surgical treatment is used if the liver disease has reached the third or fourth stages. For instance, if the fibrosis has reached the fifth stage, liver transplantation is suggested.
The last treatment is through nutritional support, which is usually taken during the liver disease treatment. Nutritional support is needed to restore the functionality of the liver cells and promote the healing process of the liver disease. Common nutrients used are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Aside from these nutrients, essential fatty acids, calcium, and iron are also required to prevent liver fibrosis and promote the repair of liver cells that were damaged due to alcohol. In addition, antioxidant agents are used to prevent further damage to the liver cells. These agents can prevent further deterioration of the liver cells even after the completion of treatment through nutritional support. However, if all treatments for alcohol hepatitis have been taken, there is still a chance that the progression of the liver disease will reach the sixth stage, which is cirrhosis.