Health & Fitness

Life Expectancy With Fatty Liver Disease: Factors Affecting Long-Term Outlook!

Fatty liver is a condition where fat gets deposited in the liver in high quantities. It has been seen that it gets developed due to ...

by Kendra Reed

Life Expectancy With Fatty Liver Disease: Factors Affecting Long-Term Outlook!

Fatty liver is a condition where fat gets deposited in the liver in high quantities. It has been seen that it gets developed due to reasons such as unhealthy weight, diabetes, and high triglycerides. These conditions can be triggered even more by alcohol abuse and following an unhealthy diet. Many health experts view fatty liver as a lifestyle disease. However, genetics can also contribute to the development of this condition. The National Institutes of Health states that about 24% of the US population suffers from Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

We will have a closer look at fatty liver disease, its symptoms, and the available treatments in the incoming sections. Besides, preventing fatty liver disease and the factors influencing life expectancy will also be discussed. The FAQs given at the end will address your most pressing concerns. Keep on reading.

Understanding Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver Disease is classified into two main types Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and Alcoholic fatty liver disease. It has four main stages such as simple steatosis, steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The preliminary stages are unnoticeable and do not cause any problems.

However, early diagnosis and treatment can save the condition from getting worse. The good news is the liver can repair itself and with ample guidance from a medical practitioner, liver fat can be lowered and inflammation can be stopped. 

Fatty Liver Disease

As we know the liver is directly responsible for maintaining metabolism, supporting digestion,  and aiding detoxification. The fat accumulation in the liver can jeopardize its function and cause other serious problems. It has been seen that having high levels of fat in the liver is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.

We can take a few precautions and prevent the condition from getting out of hand by undergoing a healthy diet and taking regular exercises. Studies confirm that fatty liver disease can be reversed if patients lose 10% of their body weight.

Factors Influencing Life Expectancy

Being diagnosed with fatty liver does not mean the end of the world. The survival chances are much higher if medical advice is followed strictly. It is required to do routine health checkups and monitor the functioning of the liver. Consuming lots of greens and vegetables and cutting carbohydrates also helps. Those who are in the habit of taking excessive alcohol should rethink and refrain from it.

Managing comorbid conditions such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol can go a long way in one’s favor. Furthermore, reducing body weight can become the core of fighting fatty liver disease. It should be known that obesity can harm the body in numerous ways from causing heart diseases to leading to cancer.

Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver can produce symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. It can also cause pain and swelling in the abdomen and lead to bleeding in the stomach. In a majority of cases, it does not produce noticeable symptoms. It is a condition that slowly progresses and does not provide many warning signs.

As mentioned, the only option is to undergo routine medical examinations so that it can be diagnosed and treated earlier. The major tests that identify fatty liver are liver function tests, computed tomographic (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment And Management Of Fatty Liver Disease

The primary advice to treat fatty liver is to lose weight and reduce bad cholesterol with a healthy diet plan. Other possible ways to deal with the condition are to control diabetes and avoid alcohol. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a condition when inflammation engulfs the liver and replaces healthy liver tissues. No medication is available for reversing fat buildup in the liver.

However, there are equal chances for recovery and worsening of the condition. Medication for controlling lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure and diabetes and limiting OTC drugs are possible ways to deal with the condition.  

How To Prevent Fatty Liver Disease And Its Progression?

There are many things that we can do to prevent the worsening of fatty liver disease. As we have been discussing, alcohol consumption can be detrimental to liver health and should be limited and stopped completely. It leads to elevated levels of blood sugar which in turn leads to inflammation in the liver.

Reducing body weight should also be one’s priority as it helps in the healing of the liver more than anything else. Eating calorie-rich food causes excess fat build up in the liver and leads to its exhaustion. Another way to prevent fatty liver disease is to maintain balanced lipid levels. High cholesterol can cause liver scarring and dysfunction of immune cells.

Let us see the options we have to lower alcohol dependency. Talking to a counselor or therapist can be effective in managing the stress and triggers that result in alcohol consumption. If that fails, the person can resort to medication under the guidance of a registered medical practitioner. Managing body weight seems to be much more simple.

All you need is to spend some time for workouts and undergo diet modifications such as lowering carbohydrate intake and adding healthy greens and vegetables. Keeping check on cholesterol levels through a healthy diet and medications can help maintain balanced lipid levels.

Summing Up

In this article, we have talked about Nonalcoholic fatty liver and some common factors leading to the disease. We also dealt with the symptoms and how to diagnose the condition. In the later sections, we focused on how to treat and manage fatty liver, exploring effective strategies such as lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions.

Additionally, we discussed options to prevent its progression, emphasizing the importance of proactive health management.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you live a normal life with a fatty liver?

You can lead a healthy life if you are at the earlier stages of fatty liver by following medical advice, losing weight, stopping alcohol consumption, and adhering to a healthy diet.

2. Does fatty liver go away?

In certain cases, the fatty liver gets reversed and cured on its own if the patients take care whereas in other cases the severity of the condition increases and worsens.

3. How much weight should the patient lose to reverse fatty liver?

Evidence suggests if the patient could lose at least 10% of their body weight, it could do wonders and reverse fatty liver.

4. What is a Stage 3 fatty liver disease?

Stage 3 fatty liver suggests that the patient’s liver contains more than 66% and is severely inflamed.

5. How long does it take for fatty liver to turn into cirrhosis?

It can take up to 30 years for fatty liver to transform into cirrhosis and most people are diagnosed with it in their sixties. 

6. What is stage 4 fatty liver disease?

The 4th stage of fatty liver disease is known by the name of cirrhosis where the liver shrinks due to inflammation and leads to failure. 

Author

  • Kendra Reed

    Dr. Kendra Reed is a dedicated general medicine physician with 7 years of clinical experience. After graduating from medical school, she completed her residency in internal medicine, developing a well-rounded skillset in diagnosing and treating a diverse range of conditions. Patients appreciate Dr. Reed's warm bedside manner and commitment to providing comprehensive, personalized care. In addition to her clinical work, she is actively involved in community outreach programs, educating the public on important health topics. Dr. Reed is known for her ability to establish trusting relationships with her patients and help them achieve their wellness goals.

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