Fatty liver disease

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Fatty liver is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. There are two types of NAFLD are simple fatty liver and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Simple fatty liver and NASH are two separate conditions. People typically develop one type of NAFLD or the other, although sometimes people with one form are later diagnosed with the other form of NAFLD. NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. Most people with NAFLD have simple fatty liver. Only a small number of people with NAFLD have NASH. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of people with NAFLD have NASH. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults in the United States have NAFLD. About 3 to 12 percent of adults in the United States have NASH.


Simple fatty liver

Simple fatty liver, also called nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), is a form of NAFLD in which you have fat in your liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage. Simple fatty liver typically does not progress to cause liver damage or complications.


NASH is a form of NAFLD in which you have hepatitis—inflammation of the liver—and liver cell damage, in addition to fat in your liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver. NASH may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is not clear why some people with NAFLD have NASH while others have simple fatty liver.

Cause of fatty liver

The underlying process that causes fatty liver is called insulin resistance which also causes or predisposes one to many other conditions including weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) etc. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps glucose in your blood enter cells in your muscle, fat, and liver, where it’s used for energy. Glucose comes from the food you eat. The liver also makes glucose in times of need, such as when you’re fasting. When blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels rise after you eat, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin then lowers blood glucose to keep it in the normal range.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells. As long as your pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome your cells’ weak response to insulin, your blood glucose levels will stay in the healthy range.

Risk factors for NAFLD

NAFLD is more common in people who have certain conditions, including obesity and conditions that may be related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes. Researchers have found NAFLD in 40 to 80 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes and in 30 to 90 percent of people who are obese. In research that tested for NAFLD in people who were severely obese and undergoing bariatric surgery, more than 90 percent of the people studied had NAFLD. NAFLD is more common in people who are obese. NAFLD can affect people of any age, including children. Research suggests that close to 10 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 have NAFLD. However, people are more likely to develop NAFLD as they age. While NAFLD occurs in people of all races and ethnicities, it is most common in Hispanics, followed by non-Hispanic whites. NAFLD is less common in African Americans. Asian Americans are more likely than people of other racial or ethnic groups to develop NAFLD when their weight is within the normal range.


Usually, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cause few or no symptoms. Certain health conditions—including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes—make you more likely to develop NAFLD and NASH.

Diagnosis of fatty liver

Doctors use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Tests may include blood tests, imaging tests, and sometimes liver biopsy.

Treatment of fatty liver

Doctors recommend weight loss to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Weight loss can reduce fat in the liver, inflammation, and fibrosis. No medicines have been approved to treat NAFLD and NASH.

Fatty liver disease diet

You may be able to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis fatty liver disease (NASH) by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. If you have NAFLD and NASH, your doctor may recommend weight loss and diet changes.

Complications of NAFLD and NASH

The majority of people with NAFLD have simple fatty liver, and people with simple fatty liver typically don’t develop complications. NASH can lead to complications, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with NASH have an increased chance of dying from liver-related causes. If NASH leads to cirrhosis, and cirrhosis leads to liver failure, you may need a liver transplant to survive. Studies also suggest that people with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people who have either form of NAFLD.

Why do doctors fail to treat fatty liver properly?

The reason most physicians are unable to help with fatty liver other than do a million dollar testing, is that they have nothing to offer other than to tell you to lose weight. This is because up to 94% of physicians receive little or no education in nutrition, weight management or obesity. Also because the underlying issue of insulin resistance is not understood by the regular physicians unless they are trained in the new field of obesity medicine.

How can W8MD weight loss program help?

W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD has successfully helped thousands of patients succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan.

STOP Blaming The Victim For Obesity

The United States leads the world in many areas; unfortunately, obesity is one of them. Overweight children and adults are stereotyped as lazy, unmotivated and lacking in self-discipline. In other words, overweight people are often blamed for their condition! The obesity epidemic is not the result of an increase in laziness and a decrease in motivation and self-discipline in U.S. adults and children. The food industry and the environment we live in along with the metabolic and nutritional factors such as insulin resistance, micro-nutrient deficiencies, stress, medications and lack of proper sleep play a central role! Obesity Is a medical condition and should be properly investigated and handled by a trained obesity medicine physician just like any other medical condition!

What if obesity is just a proxy and the underlying issue is more sinister, like insulin resistance that leads to conditions such as fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes? What if weight gain is caused by this process rather than the opposite?


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