Fat accumulation due to abnormal retention of lipids within liver cells causes fatty liver disease. In this case, fat constitutes more than 5-10% of liver’s weight.
Abnormal liver enlargement, dark patches under arms or on neck, pain in the right or central abdominal region, physical debility, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, confusion and weak concentration are some common symptoms. These aggravate particularly after a period of heavy alcohol intake.
Types and Causes
Alcoholic fatty liver disease: Caused by alcohol over-consumption for a short period or alcohol intake above acceptable limits over many years.
Family history: Genes of alcoholic fatty liver disease transfer easily from parent patient to offspring. These affect the child’s alcohol metabolism and alcohol dependency lifelong.
Hepatitis C causes liver inflammation, increasing risk to alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Females are more prone to the adverse effects of alcohol consumption than men.
Excess iron in body and obesity are some other reasons.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Caused by fat accumulation in liver due to disruption of fat metabolism in the body.
Abdominal/central/apple shaped obesity affects the functioning and physiology of liver.
Insulin resistance/prediabetes/diabetes: Excess fat is metabolically active and starts to release proteins and hormones in blood. In turn, these proteins and hormones encourage insulin resistance by cells.
Toxins and drugs: Certain medications, such as antiviral drugs, aspirin, environmental hepatotoxins (mushroom poisoning, phosphorus), amiodarone etc. increase proneness to NAFLD.
Others causes include weight loss, gastric bypass, hepatitis C, HIV, starvation, malnutrition, nutrition through drips etc.