Bhopal, 2018 : Discovered only 25 years ago the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, essentially, is a disorder of fat metabolism in which fat can accumulate in the liver in excessive amounts. Millions of people in India are affected by the fatty liver even though they may not be consuming alcohol. This chronic yet silent disease often has no symptoms. But the good part is that it is a reversible condition and can be easily managed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As this may start developing 2 years of age therefore people with 20 years and above age should get NAFLD check up at least once a year.
This was stated by renowned physician Dr. Deepak Chaturvedi at a press conference organised here on Saturday. He said around 25 per cent people in India are in different stages of this disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease tends to develop in people who are overweight or obese or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, some people develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease even if they do not have any risk factors. NAFLD may also lead to other diseases like coronary artery disease, diabetic mellitus, metabolic syndrome and hypertension.
Dr. Chaturvedi said “The current paediatric population has become more susceptible to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease (NAFLD), a disease that used to predominantly plague adults from the age of 40 and above with high risk of heart disease. But in recent times, after obesity rates among children have skyrocketed, so has their vulnerability to NAFLD. Kids love and enjoy junk food, it is parent’s responsibility to keep a check on their junk food intake.”
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Is Yet Another Life Threatening Lifestyle Disorder : Dr. Deepak Chaturvedi
Dr. Chaturvedi said “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may cause the liver to swell (steatohepatitis). A swollen liver may cause scarring (cirrhosis) over time and may even lead to liver cancer or liver failure. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease often has no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itching, fluid build up and swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites), and mental confusion. If not treated, it leads to cirrhosis and then to liver cancer,” he added.
Talking about its diagnosis Dr. Chaturvedi said “The diagnosis of NAFLD is often made during an ultrasound examination of liver. The ultrasound examination stages NAFLD as Grade one to three. The severity of disease is accessed by help of liver function tests, fibroscan of liver and liver biopsy. All persons with risk factors for NAFLD or symptoms suggestive of NAFLD should have an ultrasound liver and liver function tests. In early stage bariatric surgery has been found helpful.”
There are no medical treatments yet for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. There are some ways to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease such as maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, limit alcohol intake, only take medicines that you need and follow dosing recommendations.