Liver disease is serious and requires treatment and regular monitoring by a liver specialist.
A liver specialist is known as a hepatologist and you need to be referred by your family doctor or general practitioner. Over nearly 40 years of practicing medicine I have seen many patients develop severe liver disease, which sadly could have been prevented by early detection and early referral to a hepatologist. There needs to be more awareness of liver disease so that patients can be treated early so that we can prevent cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Make sure you have your liver function checked annually with a blood test.
I have presented my ideas on how to help those with liver diseases using nutritional medicine, which I have been using for many years with good success rates. However my recommendations do not replace the care of your own doctor and you should remain under the care of your own doctor whilst using nutritional therapies.
Fatty liver occurs when excess fat accumulates inside liver cells. This means normal, healthy liver tissue becomes partly replaced with fatty tissue. The fat starts to invade the liver, gradually infiltrating the healthy liver areas, so that less and less healthy liver tissue remains. The fatty liver has a yellow greasy appearance and is often enlarged and swollen with fat. This fatty infiltration slows down the metabolism of body fat stores, which means that the liver burns fat less efficiently, resulting in weight gain and inability to lose weight. However some people can have a fatty liver without being overweight.
Fatty liver was first described in 1980 by the Mayo Clinic. It is known in medicine as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and is the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests in Australia. NAFLD is the most common cause of liver disease in industrialised countries. There is a type of NAFLD called Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH) where severe liver damage is caused by the fat, and results in cirrhosis and liver failure. Indeed such severe cases of NASH can lead to liver cancer. Around one in five persons in the general population, in Australia has a fatty liver. Fatty liver is usually associated with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance and is more common in people with type 2 diabetes.