Hepatic Steatosis: Prevention, Risk Factors And Treatment
What Is Hepatic Steatosis?
Hepatic Steatosis, also referred to as a fatty liver disease, happens when fat accumulates in the liver. The liver consists of small amounts of fat, but too much of it can become a major problem.
The liver is the second-largest organ in the body that helps in processing nutrients from foods and drinks. Moreover, it helps filter harmful substances from the blood. If too much fat builds up in the liver, it can cause liver inflammation that can damage the liver, thereby developing liver scarring. In severe cases, liver scarring can lead to the failure of the liver.
Hepatic Steatosis Progresses Through Four Stages, Namely:
1. Simple Fatty Liver: Excess fat builds up in the liver in this stage.
2. Steatohepatitis: Along with the accumulation of fat, there is inflammation
in the liver.
3. Fibrosis: Liver inflammation leads to scarring.
4. Cirrhosis: In this stage, the scarring of the liver becomes widespread.
Cirrhosis is a serious, life-threatening condition that can lead to liver failure. Moreover, it may be irreversible. Hence, it is essential to prevent it from developing in the first place and visit the doctor in the early stages.
When a person with alcoholism develops fatty liver, it’s known as alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). It includes both AFLD and alcoholic steatohepatitis.
When hepatic steatosis develops in someone who doesn’t drink a lot of alcohol, it’s known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). If there’s no inflammation or other complications along with the accumulation of fat, the condition is referred to as simple non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD includes simple non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), and acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP).
NAFLD affects up to 25 to 30% of individuals in Europe and the US, according to a study by the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) :
This condition is a type of NAFLD that occurs when fat accumulation in the liver is accompanied by liver inflammation in people who drink little to no alcohol. If left untreated, it can cause liver scarring, ultimately leading to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP) :
This condition is rare but happens as a result of serious pregnancy complications. The exact cause of AFLP is unknown. When this condition develops, it usually happens in the third trimester of pregnancy and can pose serious health complications to the mother as well as the growing baby.
If you’re diagnosed with AFLP, your primary healthcare doctor will urge you to deliver your baby as soon as possible. You might be kept under intensive care for many days after childbirth. Nevertheless, your liver is expected to return to normal functioning with a few weeks of giving birth.
Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (ASH) :
This condition is a type of AFLD that happens when fat accumulation is accompanied by liver inflammation in people who consume moderate to high alcohol levels. Alcoholic steatohepatitis is also known as alcoholic hepatitis.
If left untreated, ASH can cause liver scarring, which can ultimately lead to liver failure. The first step to treating alcoholic fatty liver is to stop drinking. If you have alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, your doctor may ask you to visit counseling sessions or other treatments.
Symptoms Of Hepatic Steatosis :
In the majority of cases, fatty liver causes no noticeable symptoms. However, you may feel tired or experience pain in the upper right side of the stomach. People with fatty liver disease develop complications, including liver scarring. Liver scarring is also known as liver fibrosis.
If you develop severe liver fibrosis, it is known as cirrhosis. It may cause symptoms, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Yellow skin and eyes
- Abdominal swelling
- Web-like clusters of blood vessels under your skin
- Swelling of legs
- Breast enlargement in men
Causes Of Hepatic Steatosis :
Hepatic steatosis develops when your body builds up too much fat or doesn’t metabolize fat in an efficient manner. The accumulation of fat can be caused by different things. For example, consumption of too much alcohol can result in alcoholic fatty liver disease. For people who do not consume a lot of alcohol, the causes of fatty liver disease are not known.
Some of the factors that may play a major role include:
- Insulin resistance
- High levels of fat, particularly triglycerides, in your blood
- High blood sugar
Less common causes include:
- Exposure to certain toxins
- Rapid weight loss
- Hepatitis C
- Side effects from the intake of certain medication types, including Methotrexate (Trexall), Valproic Acid (Depakote), Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and Amiodarone (Pacerone)
Prevention Of Hepatic Steatosis :
To prevent this condition from happening, it’s essential to follow a healthy lifestyle.
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take steps to control your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels
- Stick to a healthy diet regime, including food low in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats
Risk Factors For Hepatic Steatosis :
A high intake of alcohol increases your risk of developing fatty liver. Moreover, your risk increases if you have any of the following factors:
- Insulin resistance
- Hepatitis C
- High blood sugar
- Metabolic syndrome
- High cholesterol levels
- High triglyceride levels
If anyone in your family ever had fatty liver disease, you’re most likely to develop it yourself.
Treatments For Hepatic Steatosis :
At present, there are no medications to treat fatty liver disease. More research needs to be conducted to develop and test medications to treat this disease. In the majority of cases, lifestyle changes can help reverse the condition. Your doctor may recommend you to undergo these changes:
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol
- Dietary changes
- Losing weight
If you are experiencing serious complications, your doctor might advise you to undergo some treatments. For the treatment of cirrhosis, your doctor may prescribe:
- Lifestyle changes
Cirrhosis often leads to liver failure, wherein you might need a liver transplant.
Grocare’s Natural Ayurvedic Treatment For Treating Hepatic Steatosis :
Made with the goodness of pure and enriched herbs, including Embellia Ribes, Cyperus Rotundus, Alpinia Galangal, Opercuina Turpethum, Picrorhiza Kurroa, and Boerhavia Diffusa, the GC® Supplement helps in boosting the immunity and rejuvenating liver cells to maintain a healthy well-being.
This tablet was designed in such a way that it strengthens immunity and restores normal functions of the liver. The ingredients of the tablet have been designed to work in harmony to incite the secretion of growth factors to help restore the liver cells. The constituents of this product are rich in anti-oxidants and also have anti-cholestatic and liver-protective properties, which together can help promote a healthy gallbladder and liver. Mentioned below are some of the important herbs that are included while formulating the product:
Embellia Ribes: This herb is known for its antacid and anti-flatulent properties. The herb also helps in the purification of blood, thereby increasing blood circulation in the body.
Cyperus Rotundus: This is a powerful herb that is used in the treatment of inflammation, nausea, and fever. Besides, it reduces body pain and helps in relaxing muscles.
Alpinia Galangal: This herb possesses anti-inflammatory properties and thereby is beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis. Besides, it relaxes the stomach lining because of inflammation and relieves discomfort caused due to ulcers. It also contains lots of antioxidants to minimize the damage caused because of free radicals and other body impurities and toxins. This is a powerful herb that helps to improve blood circulation in the body.
Opercuina Turpethum: This important ayurvedic herb possesses anti-anemic, anti-inflammatory, and purgative functions. Moreover, it helps in the treatment of gout and hemorrhoids.
Picrorhiza Kurroa: This bio herb is known for its antibacterial, hepato-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cholestatic, and anti-allergic properties. It helps in the restoring of normal enzyme levels in the liver and regulating the immune system.
Boerhavia Diffusa: Known for its hepato-protective, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties, Boerhavia Diffusa works as a comprehensive detoxifier and helps in restoring normal functions in the male reproductive system.
Proper Usage of This Medicine:
This product works best if taken twice daily after meals, or as recommended by the healthcare professional, or as indicated by inappropriate disease medication. GC® tablets are used in the treatment of a number of conditions, including hepatic steatosis, the inflammation of the liver, gallbladder, kidney, and spleen, as well as blood purification.
If taken within the prescribed dosage, the GC® tablets do not result in any known side-effects. The tablet can be taken safely by patients with diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, and pregnant women. The product is not known to cause any harm/adverse effect in any of the above cases. However, it may cause a slight darkening of stool, which does not require any medical attention.