NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE
A healthy liver has little or no fat. Meanwhile, when there is an accumulation of fat in the cells of the liver, there is cause for alarm. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Is a range of clinical and pathological condition caused by excessive storage of fat in the liver cells of people who drink little or no alcohol.
With more than 1.5 million cases per year in Nigeria, this disease is very common both in diabetic and non-diabetic people.
The reason for fat accumulation in the liver is unknown.
Meanwhile, some of the risk factors are obesity, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure, smoking, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome and gastric bypass surgery. People who are above 50 years are at risk, but this condition can also be diagnosed in younger people.
There is usually no symptom for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Meanwhile, in some cases, there is fatigue, unexplained weight loss, pain in the upper right abdomen and jaundice.
The progression of this condition involves Stage 1 (Simple Fatty Liver), Stage 2 (Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis), Stage 3 (Liver Fibrosis) and Stage 4 (Liver Cirrhosis). The fourth stage can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.
To diagnose Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, laboratory tests are carried out on blood samples to determine the functionality of the liver. The liver function tests include Albumin, Total Protein, Bilirubin and Enzyme tests (Aspartate Transaminase, Alanine Transaminase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Gamma-glutamyl Transferase). Also, Prothrombin Time test and Liver Biopsy are performed. An ultrasound scan can also be used to diagnose this condition.
There is no specific medication for treating this condition, but treatment of associated conditions and making healthy lifestyle choices will help in caring for the liver. Liver transplant can also be performed.
The preventive measures to follow include: maintaining a healthy weight, healthy diet and regular exercise.
MedBioTech offers the laboratory tests that are needed to diagnose Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.