A structured diet and exercise program are important components to reducing the risk of many health problems. A new study is indicating that this also holds true for a disease on the rise in the 40-50 year old age group – non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Although liver disease has been most notable in people with heavy alcohol consumption, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an exception to that and is the result of having too much fat stored in the liver cells.
What Is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include fatigue, pain and swelling in the upper right abdomen, enlarged blood vessels right below the skin surface, an enlarged liver or spleen, enlarged breasts in men, red palms and jaundice. Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes the disease, but they have been able to pinpoint certain risk factors that you should be on the lookout for. These risk factors include obesity, high blood sugar and blood pressure, sleep apnea, high levels of fat in the blood, high cholesterol, PCOS, underactive thyroid or underactive pituitary gland. There is a range of severity in the disease, ranging from fluid buildup in the abdomen to liver cancer or liver failure. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease does not always present with symptoms and often shows up in tests that are done for some other reason.
Can Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Be Treated?
A recent study is indicating that there is a strong connection between reduction in fatty liver disease and a structured health education program. These programs should include a heavy focus on health education, nutrition and exercise. The study was conducted with 495 patients, 236 of whom had evidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study included a 12-week program that featured daily lectures on nutrition as well as moderate intensity aerobic exercise. The results of the program showed that the majority of the participants lost weight and saw a drop in BMI, which also resulted in a drop in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease concerns and symptoms.
If you fall into any of the above-mentioned risk groups or are experiencing the symptoms that might indicate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, contact GI Associates to discuss your risk factors and how we can help you reduce them. There are currently no medical treatments for it, but our team can help you put together a diet and exercise regimen that will assist you in losing the weight that is important in reducing your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.