Non – alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
What is liver?
Liver is located at the right upper abdomen. It is the 2nd largest organ in your body and is
shaped like a football that is flat on one side. It is estimated that liver performs over 500
functions in your body. About 60% of the liver is made up of liver cells called hepatocytes
which absorb nutrients, detoxify and remove harmful substances from the blood.
What is fatty liver?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the build up of extra fat in liver cells that is not
caused by alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some fat. However, when fat exceeds
10% of the liver weight, the fat cells can damage liver cells. Fatty liver is reversible if detected
at early stage, and it will progress to liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis.
Stage 1 : Fatty liver or steatosis (> 5% – 10% percent of the liver’s weight is fat).
Stage 2 : Liver fibrosis or Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, NASH (fatty deposit build up in your
liver, causes inflammation and scarring.
Stage 3 : Liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver — hard scar tissue replaces soft healthy tissue).
Symptoms of fatty liver
Fatty liver often has no symptoms, but when symptoms occur they may include:
What causes fatty liver?
How to detect fatty liver?
- Blood tests show high levels of liver enzymes.
AST (aspartate aminotransferase) or SGOT, can also be elevated in heart and muscle diseases and is not liver specific.
ALT (alanine aminotransferase) or SGPT, is more specific for liver damage.
ALP (alkaline phosphatase) is elevated in many types of liver disease, but also in non-liver related diseases.
GGT (gamma glutamyl transpeptidase) is often elevated in those who use alcohol or other liver-toxic substances to excess.
- Ultrasound of liver
Check your liver health