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Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment

written by: futuremet • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 10/7/2010

Learn how to effectively treat fatty liver disease symptoms.

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    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or fatty liver disease is an anomalous accumulation of fat in the liver. Fatty liver disease is very common, but it does not always cause unpleasant symptoms. However in some cases, the accumulation of fat can cause serious inflammation and scarring in the liver. In severe cases, the disease can worsen substantially into steatohepatitis, which may induce liver failure.

    Fatty liver disease is primarily caused by the steatosis, which is the deposition of fatty substances into the liver. According to Dawn Sears, MD, from Emedicine, steatohepatitis can worsen into liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, which cause the liver to be unhealthy and may cause death (see reference 1). Metabolic syndrome is one of the most common causes of fatty liver disease. Metabolic Syndrome is composed of numerous medical conditions such as: high blood pressure, high levels of insulin, high body fat, and high levels of cholesterol. However according to MedicineNet, the true exact cause of fatty liver disease is unknown, but it has been linked with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (see references 2 and 3).

    Fortunately, it is possible to treat fatty liver disease. This can be done identifying the common symptoms and performing the right medical procedures. The following information below shows how to do this.

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    Symptoms

    The liver plays an essential role on the body's mechanics. The liver releases the fluids needed for digestion and detoxification. Therefore, fatty liver disease can cause some very unpleasant symptoms. Individuals with fatty liver disease might have symptoms such as abdominal pain, unintended weight loss, fatigue, malaise, weakness, and nausea. If you are regularly experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with your local doctor to get a diagnosis. During the diagnosis, the doctor may notice that your liver is larger than normal. Fatty liver disease can be diagnosed through liver biopsy.

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    Treatment

    There is currently no specific treatment for fatty liver disease. However, there are some things you can do to alleviate fatty liver disease symptoms. If you are overweight or obese, try your best to lose some extra pounds. You can do this by performing regular cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, jogging, and biking. Furthermore, abstain from foods that have a lot of fat.

    If you drink alcohol heavily, abstain from alcoholic beverages. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to other liver diseases such as cirrhosis. In some cases, your medications may also cause fatty liver disease. If this is the case consult a doctor to prescribe you for safer medications.

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    Disease
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    References

    Emdicine, Dawn Sears, MD, “Fatty Liver" Updated January 05, 2010

    University of California San Francisco, “Fatty Liver Disease"

    University of Florida (UF), Joel M. Andres, “NonAlcholic Fatty Liver Disease"

    Mayo Clinic, “Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease" Updated February 19, 2009

    University of Michigan Health System, “Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis" Updated July 18, 2007