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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) Unveiled as a Serious Health Challenge

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has grown to be a significant global public health issue. NAFLD is present in more than 70% of people with obesity and diabetes, affecting between 20 and 30 %of adults in the population as a whole. NAFLD affects about 29.2% of individuals in China’s general population.

It has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular illnesses and is closely correlated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. It has been shown that lifestyle changes such as weight loss can improve metabolic disorders and fat in the liver. This study was published in Jama Network Open Journal Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 

USA Today reported that it frequently exhibits no symptoms, meaning it is “silent.” till it becomes severe. By 2030, it is anticipated to be the leading reason for liver transplantation in the US. And it’s becoming worse for Children.  

The Mayo Clinic in Arizona’s Medical Director of Liver Transplant Centre, Dr. Blanca Lizaola-Mayo, is raising awareness about NASH, also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. NASH develops when a “Fatty liver” or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes fibrosis, a kind of liver cell destruction. It may even be lethal in its most extreme form. However, Lizaola-Mayo elaborate that it can be treated and reversed if it is discovered early enough. She explains to us all there is to learn about NASH. 

Many time, the early stages of a “fatty liver” are symptom-free. On rare occasions, may have discomfort on the right-upper side of  abdomen. Patients are unaware that they have it, and it is painless. As a result, they seek treatment when they have liver cancer or decompensated liver failure, according to Lizaola-Mayo.

Even though there might not be any symptoms, there are several clear-cut risk indicators that could assist in deciding whether you need to be tested for NAFLD or NASH. Type 2 diabetes is the leading risk factor for the development of fatty liver, according to Lizaola-Mayo. Because Type 2 diabetes affects about 30.6 million Americans, this could have significant ramifications.  

While Type 2 diabetes and obesity are indicators of risk for developing NAFLD, according to Lizaola-Mayo, the disorders that comprise the “metabolic syndrome” as a whole include most of the dangers of developing fatty liver disease. Lizaola-Mayo states, “Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions including Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and sleep apnea.” She continues, “I see it as ‘fatty liver’ is the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome.” 

If you have metabolic syndrome affecting one in three Americans, you should start considering the likelihood of fatty liver disease. According to Lizaola-Mayo, general care, and endocrinology professionals frequently ask her who should be evaluated for NAFLD and NASH. She advises people with the following conditions to get screened: at least two metabolic risk elements; if a patient’s liver enzymes have been elevated for more than 6 months, any patient whose ultrasound or CT scan reveals hepatic fat.

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