How Long Will It Take To Recover From Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease & How Long Does The Symptoms Last?

In most cases, the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease shows no signs or symptoms. However, when you are being tested for other liver problems, this condition will come to medical attention. Your liver will appear abnormal in ultrasound. This is due to the accumulation of excess fat in the liver cells.

Having a small amount of fat in the liver is quite normal however when the level crosses the normal level, it turns into a serious health problem.

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

At present, there is no proven medication to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Nevertheless, the underlying factor causing this condition is well-known. In addition, no medical studies have determined the average time period for recovery. Therefore, the treatment is purely based on lifestyle modifications, weight loss and suitable physical exercises to minimize or halt the accumulation of fat in the liver.

A weight loss of approximately 5- 10% of your body mass will certainly improve the condition in patients suffering from NAFLD.

Although no alternative medication has provided proven results in curing NAFLD, yet some natural compounds such as vitamin E (also called antioxidants reduce and neutralize damage caused due to inflammation), and limited levels of coffee have provided potential results.3,4

Liver being the second largest organ in the body filter the blood coming from the digestive tract before it transfers to the other parts of the body. When there is a buildup of fat, it leads to inflammation and in worst cases leads to liver failure as well.

Fatty liver is classified into the alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Alcoholic fatty liver develops in individuals who drink alcohol whereas, in someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, the condition is referred to as non-alcoholic fatty liver.

In general, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol) are silent diseases with few or no symptoms. However, some people develop uneasiness in the abdomen at the level of the liver, fatigue, a general sensation of being unwell and feeling tired.

However, cirrhosis develops symptoms such as

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Continuous weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Painful swelling of legs
  • Loss of appetite and a few others.1

How Long Do The Symptoms Of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Last?

Some of the most common causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include

  • Syndromes that force your system to use or buildup fat improperly
  • Obesity, especially with a large waist size
  • Insulin resistance
  • Higher levels of fat especially triglycerides

Possible signs and symptoms of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease last until you check with your doctor and undergo suitable treatments because combined complication of these causes may lead to the buildup of fat in the liver. For some people, excess fat accumulation leads to liver inflammation and eventually resulting in scarring and liver cirrhosis trying to halt the liver functions.

Therefore, in order to avoid serious complications, immediate medical attention is highly recommended.2

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is usually suspected in patients who have abnormal liver tests or have an enlarged liver. Certain diagnostic procedure for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include

  • Blood Tests- When you are affected with this condition, your blood test will show increased levels of the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
  • Imaging Procedures- MRI is the most sensitive imaging test for steatosis, highly accurate even in mild steatosis. Perhaps, MRI eliminates the necessity of invasive liver biopsy. Moreover, magnetic resonance elastography in combination with MRI determines the stiffness of body tissue and thus detection of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease become a lot much easier.
  • Liver Tissue Examination- When other tests become inconclusive, your healthcare provider would recommend for a liver biopsy to look for the signs of inflammation and scarring.

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