How do I treat fatty liver disease?

Monday September 9 2019

When the condition worsens the liver may get

When the condition worsens the liver may get inflamed by the excess fat leading to symptoms that may include, fatigue, pain 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Dr am 62kg in weight with a BMI of 21.6. Recently, I had stomach pain and
did all tests including liver function/H Pylori for ulcers, lipase for pancreas problems and they turned out all negative. However, a scan showed a fatty liver
yet I am not fat and my BMI I consider myself normal. Is that true?
Could my fatty liver have been the cause of stomach pain?
Registered Nurse

The liver, the biggest internal organ in the body, helps us among other things, remove poisons, digests and stores food. If the liver stores too much fat and fat builds up accounting for more than 10 per cent of the liver’s
weight, then one will be said to have a fatty liver disease. There are two main types of fatty liver disease, that one caused by
drinking too much alcohol (alcoholic fatty liver disease) and that one unrelated to alcohol use, (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
People prone to non-alcoholic liver disease include, those with type 2 diabetes, those obese, those with lots of fats in the blood, such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, taking certain drugs, such ascorticosteroids (prednisone/dexamethasone), rapid weight loss and
those with an inflamed liver due to Hepatitis C.
In some women it may follow pregnancy. Unfortunately, people who have mild fatty liver disease may have no symptoms with the condition being discovered accidentally during routine abdominal ultrasound scans. When detected early lifestyle changes or even medications may help heal the disease. When the condition worsens the liver may get inflamed by the excess fat leading to symptoms that may include, fatigue, pain or fullness in the right upper abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and yellowing of eyes. Inflammation of the liver can lead to death of liver cells with formation of scars (cirrhosis) and liver cancer which may lead to the symptoms which may come too late to heal the liver problem.
It is important to increase your physical exercise, cut down on fat or refined carbohydrates, eat a balanced diet, control hypertension, or diabetes if you have them and lose weight safely (not more than one kilo a week).
If you have lots of blood fats you may need avoiding all fat whether animal or plant origin through dietary measures, medication or both according to the doctor’s discretion. Also, you should avoid alcohol, herbs and unprescribed drugs including Panadol that may easily damage a frail liver further.