Fatty liver disease refers to the excessive accumulation of fatty deposits in the liver. Excessive fat deposits can lead to liver inflammation, which may consequently lead to cirrhosis or scarring. Two of the main types of fatty liver disease are alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. If you’re concerned about your liver health, watching this featured video will help you learn more about it. This video is a brief interview with an oncologist at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center .
As the term suggests, alcoholic fatty liver disease affects people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption may take years to dramatically affect the liver, or it may take only a few months. Overweight and obesity combined with alcoholism can raise the risk of fatty liver disease even further.
Some researchers think that alcohol negatively affects the liver because of oxidative stress. In other words, the process of breaking down alcohol in the liver causes a chemical reaction. This reaction may damage cells, leading to inflammation and scarring.
The good news is that it may be possible to reverse the effects of alcohol consumption on the liver by abstaining from alcohol.
Obesity and fat distribution
Obesity and morbid obesity are significant risk factors for people who develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In fact, most people who develop this disease are overweight.
However, it’s important to note that it’s possible for people to be obese without developing a fatty liver. Likewise, it’s possible for people to only be slightly overweight with a fatty liver.
Fat distribution may also influence risk. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease seems to be more common in patients who have a greater fat concentration in the abdominal region.
Aside from alcoholism and obesity, other medical conditions may influence the risk of fatty liver disease. These risk factors include the following:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- High triglyceride levels
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Underactive thyroid
- Underactive pituitary gland
The entire staff at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center firmly believes that our patients deserve superior medical care that is personalized to meet the individual needs of each patient. Here, you’ll find exceptional oncology and digestive health specialists. Call a registered nurse in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5300 to request a physician referral.