Although liver disease can be caused by many factors, including cancer, genetics, or viruses, liver disease, and liver-related cancers are often associated with excessive alcohol use. If that’s the only factor you consider when it comes to proper liver health, it’s time to reframe your understanding of diseases of the liver and what you can do to keep yours healthy and functioning properly. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an additional concern in regards to liver health, and it is largely caused by being obese or carrying too much extra weight.
What Does The Liver Do?
Your liver is roughly the size of a football and weighs around 3 pounds in an adult. It can be found in the upper part of the stomach, located below your diaphragm. Your liver handles metabolic functions in your body, including converting nutrients from your food into useful substances that your body can use. The two-lobed organ also filters out toxic substances in order to prevent them from being introduced into the body. Your gallbladder is located under the liver, and stores bile produced by the liver, which then serves to break down and absorb fats in the body. Lastly, it also serves to regulate your blood sugar levels, can help with immune reactions to fighting infections, and aids in blood clotting. Simply put, your liver plays a huge role in keeping you healthy.
What Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
NAFLD is a disease that affects up to 25% of people in the United States. Although the liver does contain some fat, a healthy liver should contain less fat than 10% of the liver’s weight. Once the liver begins carrying more than that 10%, you can be diagnosed with a fatty liver, also called steatosis. The disease causes the liver to swell beyond its normal, healthy size, and once swelling occurs, it can cause cirrhosis, which is scarring that can lead to liver cancer or failure. Once you reach that level, NAFLD can cause a higher risk for malignancy and cancer risk.
NAFLD is generally caused by being overweight or obese, having high levels of fat in the blood, having insulin resistance, or having type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
How Do I Know If I Have NAFLD And How Is It Treated?
NAFLD doesn’t always show symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose in some cases. If it does show symptoms, these might include an enlarged liver, fatigue, or pain in the upper right abdomen. There is currently no official cure for the disease, although losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and beginning an exercise routine can help control the disease and even help your liver regenerate healthy tissue.
How Can NEW You Weight Loss Help Me?
If you have NAFLD, which is largely caused by being overweight or obese, NEW You Weight Loss can help you move in the right direction. If you’ve been struggling with gaining weight or haven’t been able to find the right approach to losing it, it’s time to schedule a consultation with a member of our team who can evaluate your individual needs and find the right approach for you to lose weight. The wide variety of services that we offer our patients are designed to fit individual needs and conditions since we understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. Additionally, procedures and progress are closely monitored by our team, leading to long-term results. Contact us today to begin your journey to a healthier you.