Hepatic steatosis or fatty liver is the term used to describe a buildup of fat within the liver. It is normal to have a bit of fat in the liver, but if it is too much it can become a big health problem.
The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It is the second-largest organ and its job is to process everything that we eat and drink and remove harmful substances from the blood. If there is too much fat in the liver this process can be interrupted. Fatty liver is described as when fat makes up more than five percent of the weight of the liver.
Fatty liver can be reversed with the proper lifestyle modifications. In some cases, a person with fatty liver will not have any symptoms. In addition, there is often no permanent damage caused by fatty liver unless it is allowed to progress.
The condition of fatty liver is actually quite common and affects anywhere from ten to twenty percent of Americans. Most cases occur in people between the ages of forty to sixty. If fatty liver is not
treated it can become quite harmful.
Here are eight causes of fatty liver to consider.
Alcohol consumption is one of the most common reasons that a person will develop fatty liver disease. Drinking too much alcohol is very hard on your liver and can cause all types of damage. For this reason, it is important to limit your alcohol consumption.
If you have some of the symptoms of fatty liver disease already, limiting the amount of alcohol that you drink is extremely important. In fact, it is a good idea to not drink any alcohol at all. This will give your liver more time to repair itself and some of the effects of the fatty liver could be reduced.
There are many health issues that arise from being overweight. From heart disease to strokes to breathing difficulties, being overweight is not good for a person. In addition, obesity can also cause the fatty liver to develop. As you gain more weight, the fatty deposits need a place to go.
These fatty deposits often gather around the liver. When this occurs it makes it more difficult for the liver to do its job, thus leading to many health complications. If you are currently overweight, losing weight in a healthy way can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with fatty liver.
3. Insulin Resistance
When your cells do not take up sugar in response to insulin, there can be many issues that develop. Insulin resistance in the body can cause a lot of different health issues, including a fatty liver. A person who has developed insulin resistance should also make sure to have their liver checked.
This can help determine whether or not there are any issues with the liver. Often, making dietary changes can help alleviate these symptoms.
4. High Blood Sugar
High levels of sugar in the blood can be an indication of diabetes. This is known as hyperglycemia. A person who has prediabetes or types 2 diabetes is at more of a risk of developing fatty liver disease as well. Once again, a person who is diabetic is more likely to be overweight, which is one of the causes of fatty liver development.
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or type two diabetes, it is a good idea to have your liver checked as well. Listen to your doctor and make the lifestyle changes that are recommended to help alleviate the symptoms of these diseases.
5. High Fat Levels in the Blood
The liver is responsible for filtering the blood. When there are high levels of fats in the blood, in particular, triglycerides, it can be more difficult for the liver to function and do its job correctly. When this happens, the liver may begin to store more fat around it, which causes the fatty liver disease to develop.
Changing your dietary habits is recommended in order to help lower the amount of fat found in the blood. This will help alleviate the symptoms and issues caused by fatty liver.
6. Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a common bloodborne infection in the United States. There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing hepatitis C including hemodialysis, HIV infection, intravenous drug use, and being exposed to blood from a person who is infected.
One of the symptoms of hepatitis C is the inflammation of the liver. While there are many other things that can cause fatty liver disease, hepatitis C should be tested for if you are having symptoms of fatty liver.
7. Sleep Apnea
While it may seem weird, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be at a higher risk of developing fatty liver. Most people who have sleep apnea are often overweight. This pressure from the weight causes a person to stop breathing at times during the night.
Sleep apnea itself is something that needs to be treated by a medical professional. In addition, if you have sleep apnea, it is important to consider some of the symptoms of fatty liver to determine whether or not you have developed this issue as well.
8. Thyroid Issues
A person who has an overactive or underactive thyroid may develop many different health-related issues, including fatty liver. The thyroid is responsible for releasing hormones that help regulate many areas of the body.
When it is not working properly, many different health issues may develop. A person who has hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, may gain or lose weight quickly. This development can lead to fat stores throughout the body, including in the liver.