International NASH Day was held on 12th June since last year to raise awareness and urgency about fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more advanced form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) which affect more than 11.5 crore people around the world. Fatty liver disease and NASH is common disorder and usually unrecognised which has risk of progression to cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. As part of international awareness program Dr Vishal khurana (Senior consultant Gastroenterology of Metro Hospital Faridabad) explains about fatty liver diseases and its sequales.
Fatty liver is a condition where excess fat is deposited on this organ. Also called as steatosis, this condition happens when more than 5- 10 percent of the weight of the liver is made up of fat. Fatty liver is a common condition among people. A study from coastal regions of India found ~ 25% of healthy persons had patients had fatty liver on ultrasound.
It can occur at all ages including childhood, highest prevalence is in 40–50 year age group. Prevalence is more in person who are obese or diabetic.
Predisposing factors are Diabetes mellitus, Obesity or being overweight, Hyperlipidemia or the condition where there are high levels of fat in the blood, Genetic reasons, Rapid loss of weight, medications (like Aspirin, steroids, tamoxifen, tetracycline etc), Hepatitis C infection, celiac sprue and Wilson disease
Types of Fatty Liver
a. When more than 10% of the liver is made of fat then this condition is called Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL).
b. Non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): When fatty liver is associated with inflammation in liver patient is said to be having Non alcoholic steatohepatitis. NASH is a more advanced stage of NAFLD, and has a higher risk of progressing to liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These condition display symptoms like jaundice, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. Blood test (LFT) shows raised enzymes level. Approx 5-8% of the Indian population has NASH. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
During the early stages (fatty liver) of the disease, patients usually have no symptoms directly related to liver disease. However, people may experience a vague abdominal discomfort. If their liver is inflamed (NASH) then they may display symptoms of poor appetite, weight loss, pain in the abdomen and fatigue.
Prevention and reversal of fatty liver disease
In general, if you have fatty liver, and in particular if you have NASH, you should:
As a part of awareness program there will be organization of Free Fibroscan and Liver function test on 24thJune 2019
Dr Vishal Khurana
MBBS, MD, DM (Gastroenterology), MNAMS
Senior Consultant Gastroenterology