Managing Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
It is a common assumption that if someone has something wrong with their liver, they have been a heavy drinker. However, there are other causes of liver disease, including hepatitis. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects people who drink very little or not at all.
What Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when the body stores excess fat in your liver. The fatty buildup is most likely caused by the body not processing glucose properly. It is often associated with complications from Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that more than 30% of American adults have NAFLD.
How Do I Know If I Have NAFLD?
For most people, there may be no symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and there is no cure for it. However, with the proper lifestyle changes, you can manage the disease successfully. Diagnosing it as early as possible is crucial. If liver damage is severe, treatment may require a liver transplant. Certain circumstances can you more likely to develop NAFLD:
- Having diabetes or being pre-diabetic
- Being obese or overweight
- Genetic history of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Being of south Asian or Hispanic descent
- Being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome
It’s important to make lifestyle changes and dietary changes as early as possible in your diagnosis of NAFLD to avoid developing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver, having endured damage over months and years, begins to deteriorate and lose function. You can manage NAFLD effectively by exercising regularly, transforming your diet, and losing weight. Symptoms of cirrhosis may include feeling lethargic or having no energy, yellowing skin and eyes, and abdominal pain and swelling. You may also experience itchy skin, nausea, and dark-colored urine.
Park Avenue Medical Professionals offers comprehensive liver disease treatment (hepatology) services on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Our board-certified NYC liver disease specialist has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating all types of acute and chronic liver diseases. Learn more about our hepatology services by contacting our office at 212.427.2000. You can also make an appointment by filling out this form.