Sunday, June 4, 2023

How to reverse the damage of NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) might be the most common disease you’ve never heard of.

This disorder — which occurs when excess fat builds up in the liver of someone who doesn’t drink much — is the most common chronic liver disease, affecting about 1 in 4 adults in the United States. . Yet, most people haven’t heard of it.

“The biggest problem is the low awareness that exists among primary care physicians,” says Mary Rinella, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Metabolic and Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

In fact, research shows that primary care physicians are not always sure which patients should be screened for NAFLD. (Why screen dieters for liver disease?)

To further complicate matters, people with the disease usually also experience few symptoms. (How can you talk to your doctor about a disease you don’t even suspect?)

“It is a common myth that alcohol alone can damage or cause liver damage – also known as cirrhosis – but the truth is that fat accumulation is a major cause of liver damage and This can lead to liver failure and its most dangerous complication, liver cancer, says Dr. Annie Kardashian, associate professor of medicine in the department of gastroenterology and liver disease at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. It is the second most common reason for liver transplantation in the US.”

It is normal to have some fat in the liver, but if more than 5-10% of the liver’s weight is fat, you have what is known as a fatty liver. NAFLD occurs in people who do not drink much alcohol. And the risk is greatest for people age 50 and older, especially women.

“As adults age, they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity, which are major risk factors for fatty liver,” says Kardashian. “In women, menopause poses an additional risk. Estrogen protects against fatty liver and liver scarring … and once women reach menopause, as estrogen levels drop, they lose that protective effect.” Are.

While there is no cure for NAFLD, it can be reversed. However, the longer it goes undiagnosed, the more likely it is to develop into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more severe form of NAFLD that can be more difficult to reverse.

NAFLD exists on a spectrum that “ranges from non-healing fat — which is 100% reversible — to cirrhosis, which is on the other end of the spectrum and is not reversible,” Rinella says. “Where you are on the spectrum of disease determines how reversible it is.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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