Increased Risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Obese Persons

Ideally there is no fat around a liver functioning in good condition. However, with fat deposits around the liver the risk gradually increases. Certain conditions increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This article discusses the increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese persons.

Health Issue Related to Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Health Issue Related to Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can affect people of all ages. It is considered to be the most incessant severe disease that can affect the liver. Earlier, it affected patients who used to consume alcohol but then it was found that it also happens to people who avoid consuming alcohol. This is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Many people are affected by this variant of liver disease as well and the problems seems to be rising. One of the most common reasons for the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is obesity. The fat metabolites are stored as free lipid acids, phospholipids and cholesterol through the most of the hepatocellular fats is stored as triglycerides. The non-alcoholic fatty acid is related to a host of other reasons such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, high pressure, lipidemia and obesity caused due to viscera.

Increased Risk Of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease In Obese Persons

Any ordinary person having a liver in a good condition must have very less amount or no fat at all. A non-alcoholic fatty liver doesn’t cause any harm when in its early stage but can damage the liver severely and can cause liver cirrhosis under worst conditions. It can also lead to severe health issues like hypertension, diabetes and kidney problems. There is an increased risk of a person getting the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease if a person is obese or has diabetes. However, the disease progression can be controlled, if diagnosed at an early stage, but timely action is must. It is important to study the increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.

It is not just the United States but the whole world that is getting affected by the non-alcoholic fatty liver. The disease is just spreading like a plague. Obesity and resistance to insulin lead to the collection of fatty acids and triglycerides in the liver. Celiac disease can be easily related to severe diseases in the liver. The younger generation of the Western nations, which generally include the adolescents and kids are the ones most affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects total population and may develop to become cirrhosis or fibrosis. While it is known that there is an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with obesity, researches are also focusing on its relation with increased risk with Celiac disease.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is mostly accompanied by metabolic disease symptoms and obesity. It is not a necessity though that a person affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver has to be obese. A low in gluten diet and an active lifestyle may decrease the risk of a person getting affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or makes the person better who is already affected by the particular disease. There are cases when a person becomes obese at the time of the diagnosis or after the therapy. Adults and kids suffering from the coeliac disease may develop a cardiovascular disease that may become the intersection point between the coeliac disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Adults and kids are the ones who are most affected by this non-alcoholic fatty liver disease all over the world. Based on the cut-off percentage higher limit, the evaluation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease existence in the United States varies somewhere along 5.4% to 24% among the local population but these calculations can be stated as below the value estimation also. Previously the existence of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was diagnosed through the help of intraoperative liver biopsy which was 33%-88%.1 The non-alcoholic fatty liver becomes a point of great concern in children if the estimation becomes somewhere around 9.6% and as it is most prevalent in children about 2% to 8% kids develop cirrhosis from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

One of the most important causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver is obesity. Obesity intensifies the problem up to 4.6 times and almost 74% of the obese population suffers from fatty liver.2 About 84% to 96% of the patients having obesity undergoing surgery have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and almost 2% to 12% are suffering from chronic cirrhosis or fibrosis.2 Non-alcoholic fatty liver can also be related to adipose and hepatic tissues resisting insulin and making the patient suffer from high blood pressure, high diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Though obesity and metabolic syndrome are the main reasons for non-alcoholic fatty liver, it can also occur to people who are lean and don’t have the above-mentioned problems and studies show that it affects 29% of the lean population of the country. However non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is two times more common in obese people and the ones suffering from metabolic syndrome. Commonly, it is noted that more than 90% of the population has some or the other kind of characteristics relating to metabolic syndrome. It is found that near about 33% to 50% of the patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have diabetes whereas about 75% of them were resistant to insulin.1

Different other factors are influencing the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may include the age of the particular person, race, gender, nationality, and family background. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is generally caused in children and adults less than 50 years of age but is more frequent in women above 50 years of age due to the change in hormones caused after menopause. Non-alcoholic fatty liver is quite prevalent in Asian countries and is tested through the method of ultrasound. The percentage of the non-alcoholic fatty liver varies somewhere around 5% to 40%.

Prevention

There are various ways by which one can reduce the risk of the occurrence of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but the most important and effective one is weight management. As there is increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with obese patients, it is necessary to manage weight. The risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver gradually decreases automatically if one sheds the extra pounds. Even if the person is already affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver, decreasing weight reduces the risk of disease progression and risk of related complications.

Specific principles have been set for the management of weight by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It says that a person’s diet must be such that there should be a regular lacking of 500 to 1000 calories but the number of physical activities should be increased.3 Patients having BMI of more than 27 apart from other additional diseases, management of weight through pharmacologic usage of certain medicines can prove to be beneficial. While there are medicines available, it is necessary to consult a physician and take medicines only as advised. Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or obese patients at risk of liver disease must follow a healthy diet plan, have regular physical activity and follow-up with the physician for necessary investigations and treatment, if any.

Apart from weight management, the use of vitamin E is also very effective in obese patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that helps to cure the non-alcoholic fatty liver in adults as well as children. Vitamin E has been tested and found to be permitted by the non-alcoholic fatty liver. Experts have seen a remarkable improvement in the condition of the liver in an ultrasonographic test of the liver through the use of vitamin E.

Medications have been evaluated in a way to yield the patient with certain guidelines to reshape their activities and eating practices. The study in the early stages found out that fatty liver being caused in patients without the consumption of alcohol is the effect of being obese and sedentary lifestyle. Hence, physicians advice modification in their diets and activity chart. These lifestyle changes and constructive variations can be accomplished by changing the environmental drawbacks and augmentation of those habits. While these are general recommendations, expert’s advice is required to plan an individual treatment or preventive approach. Considering the increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese patients, the approach focuses on reducing weight and maintaining good health.

Conclusion

The non-alcoholic fatty liver is a reversible disease but if it is diagnosed in its early stage. Not giving proper attention to one’s health can lead them into major problems. If it remains undiagnosed, the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease gives rise to a more severe and acute disease that may be non-curable. Moreover, there is an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese patients. Hence, excess body weight can be considered as a risk factor and necessary action can be taken for prevention. Therefore one must always lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly to keep all these diseases away.

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