Common people in laymen understanding consider fat present in the liver to be dangerous and relate it to excessive fat intake or non-vegetarian diet. It is important for people to know about fatty liver so that they can get the right consultation as and when they sense a problem. Being aware about the reasons of fatty liver is therefore reassuring. Commonly, fatty liver is attributed to alcoholic causes and non-alcoholic reasons. In simpler terms fatty liver means deposition of adipocytes or fatty cells in the liver. This is somewhat normal to have for both men and women and in most of the ultrasound reports this is observed for lots of patients.
Meaning and symptoms of fatty liver along with types seen clinically
When liver cells have fat contents more than 5% of the total amount, it mandates being called a fatty liver. Symptoms seen with fatty liver includes swelling or enlargement of this organ. Patients suffer from poorer appetite, weight loss, fatigue, physically weak and sometimes patients suffer from confusion.
In most cases of fatty liver, alcohol is supposed to be the causative feature. Chronic abuse of alcohol is responsible for the pathological changes. Apart from this, other reasons resulting in this organ condition are obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cirrhosis, or cancer. When the fatty liver is due to alcohol, it is known as alcoholic liver disease or ALD. But, when the other reasons apart from alcohol are involved, it is named as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. Some doctors also call the liver disease as steatohepatitis.
Symptoms and signs of fatty liver diseases of all types usually do not manifest because of the problems in the liver, rather due to the original cause itself. When there is cirrhosis of liver, the symptoms which might be visible are, swollen belly due to increased liver size, some blood vessels are enlarged under the skin, palms become reddish, and finally jaundice is manifested with yellowish skin and eyes.
Although there can be various cause of fatty liver diseases, the metabolic syndrome is supposed to be an important reason for such changes. It is marked by large waist size, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure and lower levels of HDL cholesterol.
While the treatment is as per the cause, it is necessary to reach up to the Health Checkup first, which depends on ultrasound or CT scan and enzymatic tests. Inspite of all these diagnostic tests, one cannot undermine the efficiency of clinical examination in diagnosing and treating fatty liver diseases.