Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic liver disease, also referred to as fatty liver without alcohol, is excess fat accumulation in the liver with no apparent cause, including consumption of alcohol. The most common symptom of NAFLD is a yellowish appearance to the skin and jaundice, which may progress to steatosis and cirrhosis. Fluid accumulated in the abdomen is another indicator of this disease. Liver function tests are negative in patients with NAFLD. Treatment involves removing the excess fat and treating inflammation, if present.

Steatosis is a major complication of fatty liver disease. A fatty liver is more susceptible to the development of ulcers (which can become blood clots). Nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort are common with steatosis. Surgery (liposuction) to remove large deposits of fat is often necessary for long-term treatment of steatosis. Sometimes, a combination of treatment and prevention of further fatty liver disease is all that’s required.

Acute non-alcoholic steatohepatitis develops in acute liver failure due to excessive accumulation of fatty fluids and inflammation. Acute non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases are usually of a progressive character. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and joint stiffness characterize the early phases of this disease. Liver biopsy shows extensive steatosis.

Acute steatosis is reversible in most patients with mild symptoms. This progression usually occurs due to accumulation of too much fat in the liver. In advanced stages, irreversible cell death and necrosis may result from over-accumulation of cellular debris. This can occur in conjunction with a primary or secondary infection such as hepatitis B or C. Inflammation of the liver is a prerequisite of steatosis. The major consequence of inflammation is damage of the hepatic artery (ischemia), which results in obstruction of blood flow to the liver and leads to severe functional impairment of the organ.

Steatosis does not necessarily occur in individuals who only drink occasionally. Mild alcohol abuse will not likely produce symptoms. Heavy drinking, however, can cause steatosis if it occurs on a regular basis (over 30 drinks per week).

Alcohol abuse causes many serious problems. The most obvious of these is liver failure, but steatosis can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver and to progressive liver cancer. Damage to the liver that is not reversible can be the underlying cause of death in individuals over age fifty-five.

The progression of non-alcoholic liver disease is a long one. Although there are cases of improvement, there is a good chance that the patient will eventually be in advanced stages. There are treatments for non alcoholic liver disease, including non prescription medications and surgical options. Many of these options are expensive and the side effects may be unpleasant.

Treatment of non-alcoholic liver disease usually involves a combination of medicines, surgery and liver rest. Medicines used to treat steatosis can include albicans lengthening agents (ALFA), amikacin, acyclingenine, amphotericin B, corticosteroids, glycerin, hippuric acid, jatamansi, medicines using sulfasalazine, methotrexate, totretinoin, and xerax. Surgery can involve liver transplantation or palliative procedures to stop further damage to the organ. Local steroid injection may also be needed.

Surgical treatments which are used for non-alcoholic fatty liver are often not necessary. Adhere to all of the treatment instructions to prevent unnecessary pain, bleeding, and fluid loss. Swelling and pain usually subside within twenty four hours. Liver enzymes can be used to speed up metabolism to improve functioning and normalize albumin levels.

To decrease abdominal fats, try using supplements, like green tea. Exercise regularly. Eat a well balanced diet, consisting of lean proteins and whole grains. Maintain a good weight. Smoking is a contributing factor to non-alcoholic liver disease. Quit smoking to improve overall health and decrease abdominal fats.

Surgical treatments should not be needed for non-alcoholic liver disease. Treatment can include taking bile acid blockers, chemical chondroitin, or corticosteroids. Surgery may be used for severe cases where no other treatment options are effective. The surgery to remove scar tissue and liver cells may help to alleviate some symptoms of hepatitis.