Fatty Liver, a global epidemic!

Date: 08/18/2019


Fatty Liver, a global epidemic!

By K Patel, MD, MPH

My Health One Place | Health Talk

Liver is one of the five vital organs that you require to survive. It is located in right upper abdomen area and has two big parts and eight small sections which are responsible for some of the most vital functions like: removing toxins/waste, digestion, producing proteins, maintaining blood glucose, helping immune system to name a few.

Fatty liver (NAFLD – Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease) is a condition in which fat deposits and invades the liver and later may interfere with its function. If unchecked, it may lead to inflammation, scarring of liver and rarely liver failure (Cirrhosis) or liver cancer requiring liver transplant to survive. It happens in absence of alcohol or other toxin use that may affect the liver.

Fatty liver is more common in those who are suffering from obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. However, it may be present in those with normal weight. Most of the patients with fatty liver have no symptoms and the condition is found on routine lab test and liver ultrasound or CT scan of abdomen.

The best treatment at this point for fatty liver is weight loss and optimal management of other conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol etc.

There are some novel treatments under investigation that may be available in future to prevent or slow down the worsening of liver function like: Aramchol (Galmed pharmaceuticals), Obeticholic acid (Intercept pharmaceuticals), Selonsertib, GS 9674 & GS 0976 (Gilead) etc. All these complex names with eye on multibillion dollar market!

Rather than focusing on treating the complications, let’s focus on preventing the condition altogether! Fatty liver is one of the long list of conditions that can be many times prevented by merely eating healthy and regular exercise!

Focus Prevention!

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