Fatty Liver Symptoms, Causes, Treatment | How Steatosis Affects your Life
Fatty liver also called as Steatosis refers to the buildup of fat in the liver. It’s normal to have some fat in the liver but if it makes up to 5% to 10% of the organ’s weight then you may probably have the fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is a reversible condition provided which can be achieved with behavioral controls.
The liver is the 2nd largest organ in the body. Its main function is to process everything we eat and drink and filter the harmful substances. This process gets interrupted if a lot of fat gets deposited in the liver. The liver repairs itself by regenerating new liver cells when the old ones get damaged.
Fatty liver is a very common condition for people of age between 40 to 60 years. If the exact cause of this condition is not identified and treated, it might become harmful and even lead to life-threatening situations.
What are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver?
It has no associated symptom. One may feel fatigue or an abdominal discomfort. Your liver becomes slightly enlarged and deposition of fat leads to liver inflammation. One may also have loss of appetite, weight loss, and confusion.
Some other symptoms related to liver disease:
- Curling of fingers
- Hair loss
- Enlargement of salivary glands
- Shrinking of testes
- The appearance of spider-like veins on the surface of the skin
What are the Causes of Fatty Liver?
Alcohol consumption is the most common cause of this condition. Fat deposition takes place when the body creates too much of fat and is not able to metabolize it at a fast rate. Now, the excess fat gets deposited causing fatty liver disease.
Other common causes for this condition include:
- High levels of fat in the blood
- Genetic inheritance
- Side effects of certain medicines such as aspirin, steroids, etc
- Rapid weight loss
Types of the Fatty liver:
There are 4 different types of fatty liver | types of Steatosis:
1.Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD):
Heavy consumption of alcohol will lead to alcoholic liver disease. The liver will not be able to break down the excess of alcohol taken in by the body. The genes can also play a role in ALD. However, if the person refrains from drinking alcohol for 6 weeks the fat will disappear.
2.Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL):
This is not due to alcohol. This condition develops when the liver finds it difficult to break down the fat. This is diagnosed when more than 10% of the liver is fat. People with high cholesterol and diabetes have greater chances of being affected.
Too much of bacteria in your small intestine and other changes in the intestine may be related to the non-alcoholic liver disease.
3.Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy:
It’s a very rare case where fat gets deposited in the liver when you are pregnant. It may lead to serious issues such as liver or kidney failure either in you or your baby. It may also cause infection or bleeding. There’s no exact cause for this but your hormones may play a role. The symptoms begin in the 3rd trimester. It includes which includes pain in the upper-right abdomen, persistent nausea or vomiting & jaundice
When fat builds up, it leads to swelling of the liver. This can impair liver function. The noticeable symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
How is Steatosis Diagnosed?
Physical Exam: your doctor can detect it just by examining your abdomen. Also tell your doctor about your medical history, medications, alcohol and supplement use.
Blood Tests: your doctor may observe that the liver enzymes are higher than that in a routine blood test. This doesn’t confirm fatty liver. Further analysis will be made.
Ultrasound: one may take up ultrasound or CT or MRI scan to detect the amount of fat deposition in the liver.
Liver Biopsy: in a liver biopsy, the doctor will insert a needle into your liver to remove a tissue for examination. This will also help to detect the exact cause.
Steatosis Treatment | How is Fatty Liver treated?
There is no treatment, surgery or medication for fatty liver. Instead, your doctor will suggest ways and means reduce the risk factors. It includes:
- Limiting or avoiding alcoholic beverages
- Managing cholesterol levels
- Losing weight
- Controlling blood sugar
- Regular physical activities
- Diet control
- Include more of protein in your diet
As we all know, prevention is better than cure. So it’s always better to make efforts to remain healthy than to undergo treatments for recovery.
Effect of Fatty Liver Disease on Sexual Life:
Liver diseases have an indirect impact on the sexual experience. Since most often liver diseases are associated with fatigue and depression it will have an adverse effect on sexual enjoyments. Also, the medications used for the treatment of such diseases is another reason for reduced interest in sex. Moreover, any chronic illness can be associated with sexual dysfunction.
Those with liver disease need to pay attention to the following while enjoying sex.
- Contagious Liver Disease: It has been a presumption that most forms of Hepatitis are transmitted sexually. But, one needs to know the fact that only Hepatitis B has a high rate of sexual transmission and sexual transmission of Hepatitis C have very low rates of transmission.
- Hypertension: Any form of hypertension, be it portal or heart disease carries a fear of sex which increases the blood pressure to dangerously high levels. It is advisable to consult your doctor to get further medical advice.
- Drains energy: Anyone suffering from the chronic disease will be fatigue and when they get involved in sexual activity it drains their precious energy.
Sex plays an important role in one’s life. It benefits ranges from slashing stress levels to lowering the risk of cancer and heart attacks. Thus any discomfort in your sexual life due to chronic liver diseases requires immediate attention. One can seek the help of the doctor to get advice. You may also visit a counselor or a therapist specialized in sex to get more ideas on how to overcome the struggle.
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