Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. Mostly, people who are overweight or obese seem to manifest this oftener. Early-stage NAFLD does not usually cause any harm but if left unattended and with no correction in lifestyle habits - it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis.

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Obesity related fatty liver disease

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • One should worry about acquiring non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as it increases your chance of developing heart problems.
  • You are at risk of developing NAFLD if you are obese or overweight – particularly if you have a lot of fat around your waist (an “apple-like” body shape).
  • It can take years for fibrosis or cirrhosis to develop but timely made lifestyle changes can prevent the condition from worsening.

If one section of the human population faces malnourishment and paucity of food grains, on the other side, the global crisis of obesity is now affecting 650 million people worldwide. Even then, the obesity disease is poorly understood. The theme of World Obesity Day 2022 is Everybody Needs To Act” as the complexity of the disease is a challenge to the world. It just means that to overcome this burden and stigma of obesity, we need to work together to address the challenge.

Obesity is associated with a spectrum of liver abnormalities, including an increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

The liver is a metabolic workhorse that performs a diverse array of biochemical functions necessary for whole-body metabolic homeostasis. 

According to a study by the Washington University School of Medicine), calorie restriction and weight loss is an effective therapy for obese patients with NAFLD. A marked decrease in IHTG content and improvement in hepatic insulin sensitivity occurs very rapidly, within 48 hours of calorie restriction (~1100 kcal/d diet).

Here is what Dr Ameet Mandot, Senior consultant and Clinical lead – Adult Hepatology and Liver Transplant unit – Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai told us about Obesity and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease along with the biochemical, metabolic and clinical implications.

Your liver is a real powerhouse in your digestive system.

 The five stages of liver disease are-

1. Fatty liver

2. Inflammation

3. Fibrosis (scarring)

4. Cirrhosis, and

5. End-stage liver disease.

 

Fatty Liver is a condition mostly blamed on Type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, obesity and or chronic alcohol abuse. Hepatitis B and C are other common causes of chronic liver disease. Making small changes in your lifestyle and eating pattern such as starting your day right by eating a healthy breakfast, reducing salt and fat intake, avoiding excessive consumption of processed or junk food is the key to weight management and a healthy liver, says Dr Ameet Mandot.

How to detox your system:

  1. Take in a lot of fluids
  2. Ensure that your snacking includes healthy options
  3. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and
  4. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol

Dr Ameet Mandot in his work as a Senior Consultant and Clinical lead – Adult Hepatology and Liver Transplant unit – at Mumbai’s Global Hospital, Parel sees that obesity is to blame for most of the liver disease cases. 

Practical plan to lose weight and healthify liver: 

  1. Include low carbohydrate, high protein and dietary fibre, foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Consumption of coffee (in moderation), nuts, fatty fishes and olive oil are safe in this context.
  3. A weight loss of 5-10 per cent should be sought and a gradual weight reduction over a few is preferable to a rapid weight loss.
  4. Weight reduction should be sustained with regular discipline in the diet.
  5. Regular physical activity of 150 mins per week or a minimum count of 10,000 steps per day are a good rule of thumb to prevent liver diseases.
  6. Any form of exercise is beneficial as long as it is regular on atleast 5 days a week fora minimum of 30 minutes each session.
  7. Alcohol consumption on a regular basis (more than 2 times a week) should be avoided and binge drinking should be avoided.
  8. Dr Ameet Mandot urges all to get vaccinated against hepatitis B.

 

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