Nonalcoholic fatty Liver disease (NAFLD)is a term as its name implies a condition occurring in individuals who do not drink alcohol, still their liver contains excess fat. NAFLD is one of the major chronic liver diseases especially in India.
Some individuals progress from NAFLD to NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis)- a condition in which the liver gets swollen and inflamed due to excess fat. If the individual does not take acre at this stage and does not reduce weight and takes appropriate measures to reduce inflammation, then NASH progresses to Cirrhosis. In Cirrhosis the liver gets scarred and leads to complications like fluid in the abdomen, jaundice, bleeding from mouth and may even go to a stage of coma. This stage is similar to those found in patients who consume large amount of alcohol.
There are no definite symptoms of NAFLD, It is usually picked up on routine investigations like ultrasound. If at all some symptoms occur in few individuals, it includes fatigue or discomfort in the right side of the abdomen NAFLD and NASH are both linked to the following:
RISK FACTORS FOR NAFLD
1.Overweight or obesity is the leading cause of NAFLD
2.High blood sugar ( pre diabetes and diabetes)
3.Insulin resistance, in which cells don’t take up sugar in response to the insulin
4.High levels of fats, particularly triglycerides
5.Polycystic ovary syndrome
6.Metabolic syndrome( combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body weight around waist and high cholesterol)
7.Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
8.Underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism)
Balanced diet : Choose a healthy plant-based diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Avoid fried food , junk foods, cold drinks and sweets.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and get more exercise. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercise
Exercise regularly most days of the week for at least 45 minutes a day.