🤫It’s called a silent disease because most people have NO symptoms.
😮25% of all US adults are thought to have it.
😢60% – 95% of individuals with obesity have it.
NAFLD stands for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It exists on a spectrum, beginning with simple fatty liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver or NAFL) and in some people progressing to involve inflammation (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH).
“In those who develop NASH (the inflamed form), fatty liver can worsen to liver fibrosis (scar tissue) and then liver cirrhosis (end stage).”
If it advances to the point of cirrhosis, the only treatment is a liver transplant.
👉So, the best case scenario is to recognize fatty liver early enough to reverse it (or at lease keep it from becoming worse).
How do you know if you have fatty liver? Here are the top 3 risk factors:
Plenty of people probably have fatty liver without knowing it because it’s not exactly straightforward to diagnose.
🩸Bloodwork is the place to start:
- Some people have elevated liver enzymes (which your doctor would see on routine bloodwork), but some don’t.
- Specialized algorithms can use bloodwork along with measurements like waist circumference to calculate the risk of fatty liver.
🩺Imaging can also be considered:
Regular ultrasounds are not reliable for detecting fatty liver when obesity is present, but there are other specialized imaging tests that can be considered.
- Hepatologists or gastroenterologists are the specialists to run these imaging tests.
The main conventional approach to fatty liver is weight loss, with some doctors recommending weight loss surgery. But with functional nutrititon approaches, we can do SO MUCH MORE.
Watch for my upcoming posts. I’ll be going deeper into explaining the root causes of fatty liver, underlying mechanisms we can address, lifestyle changes, and nutritional supplements. See you then!
Maurice J, Manousou P. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Clin Med (Lond). 2018; 18: 245-250. [link]