Association Between Fatty Liver And Hepatitis

Hepatitis Linked with Fatty Liver

Alcoholic liver disease, artwork
Fatty Liver and Hepatitis. SCIEPRO / Getty Images

If you have a little amount of fat in your liver, it is regarded to be absolutely normal. If the fat content weighs 5-10% more than the actual weight of your liver, it is a matter of concern as there is a high possibility for you to have problems such as alcoholic liver disease or non-alcoholic liver disease. These diseases come with their own sets of grave complications.

Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD)

The recent survey shows that about 15 million people of US are in the habit of alcohol overuse or abuse.

Another study reveals that 90%-100% of these individuals get fatty livers. There are few factors that can cause alcoholic liver disease. Take a look at them:

  • Quantity of alcohol: One can develop fatty liver by the consumption of moderate to high quantity of alcohol for a long duration or heavy drinking in a short span (which causes acute ALD).
  • Genetic factors: You can inherit ALD from your parents to some extent. The amount of alcohol that can cause alcoholism when consumed is decided by hereditary factors. Apart from that, there is a genetic effect on the enzymes found in liver that are responsible for the metabolism or breakdown of alcohol in the body.
  • Hepatitis C infection: HCV infection can lead to the inflammation of the liver and thereby cause ALD as a complication in some cases.
  • Iron overload: This can be constituted as one of the causative factors.
  • Obesity: This is a problem that has its own contribution to various lifestyle diseases apart from ALD.

    Nonalcoholic Type of Fatty Liver Disease

    This is commonly called NAFLD. It is one of the most frequent causes of chronic liver problems in the US. If a person has a tendency for fat accumulation in liver, he is known to have a fatty liver. It is not a normal condition but there is nothing to worry about if the person has no inflammation or injury due to this condition.

    There is a condition quite similar to fatty liver which is known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. The interesting fact about NASH is that it happens in those individuals who drink less or consume absolutely no alcohol. The complication of NASH is that it can cause irreparable liver damage. Another complication of NASH is liver cirrhosis during which the liver cells grow big in size and get replaced with scar tissue over a period of few months. The other complications associated with NASH are liver cancer and liver failure.

    Recent studies and surveys have revealed an astonishing fact that NAFLD can increase the chances of heart diseases in kids who are obese and overweight.

    What can cause Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

    The exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease remains unclear still. There is some evidence that shows that NAFLD has some genetic influence as it has found to be running in families. Middle-aged and obese people have been found to be more prone to developing this disease.

    High cholesterol and diabetes are the usual symptoms of people with NAFLD.

    Fatty liver can happen due to other causes such as the following:

    • Certain medications
    • Viral hepatitis forms such as hepatitis C
    • Autoimmune liver disease or any hereditary liver problem
    • Unhealthy reduction of weight in a rapid manner
    • Improper nutrition

    Advanced research indicates that microflora of the small intestine has a major role to play in the occurrence and the progress of NAFLD and NASH. Te bacterial overgrowth can cause certain changes in the intestine and thereby lead to disturbing conditions like NAFLD.

    There is no treatment for fatty liver as such. But remedial measures can be taken to reduce the accumulation of fat like the following:

    • Minimize your fatty foods consumption
    • Enjoy a balanced diet
    • Exercise routinely
    • Maintain your weight so that it doesn't shoot up rapidly or even go lower at a fast rate.

    Such changes in your life can surely bring about a marked change in the condition of your liver.

    References:

    Bondini S, Younossi ZM. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatitis C infection. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2006 Jun;52(2):135-43.

    OShea RS, Dasarathy S, McCullough AJ. Alcoholic liver disease. Hepatology. 2010 Jan;51(1):307-28.

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