Small amounts of fat in the liver are normal, but too much can become dangerous. A healthy liver has a small amount of fat; it becomes problematic when the fat reaches 5% to 10% of your liver’s weight.
Is fatty liver dangerous?
If your liver has accumulated fat within the cells for a long time, you may suffer from fatty liver disease. Too much fat can cause liver inflammation, damage your liver or, in severe cases, leads to liver failure.
This is enough to understand how dangerous the disease of fatty liver is! Therefore, in this article, we are discussing the following things:
- Stages of fatty liver diseases
- Symptoms of fatty liver
- Grade 1 fatty liver and whether it is curable.
- The difference between grade 1 and grade 2 fatty liver.
- Effects of a fatty liver
Stages of fatty liver diseases
There are mainly two types of fatty liver diseases: Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic fatty liver, and alcoholic fatty liver.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver: fat buildup in the liver not linked to alcohol
- Alcoholic fatty liver: fat build up in the liver is a result of excessive consumption of alcohol
Fatty liver progress through four stages:
1. Simple fatty liver
Excess fat builds up in the liver – it is mostly harmless if it does not progress.
There is also inflammation in the liver, along with excess fat.
Persistent inflammation causes scarring in the liver. But still, the liver can function normally.
Scarring of the liver becomes widespread and impairs the liver’s ability to function. Cirrhosis is the most severe stage, which cannot be reversed. Therefore it is vital to prevent it from developing further.
What are the symptoms of a fatty liver?
People may not experience symptoms until the disease has progressed to liver cirrhosis. The symptoms of fatty liver include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Swollen legs
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dark-coloured urine
- Breast enlargement (in men)
Is grade 1 fatty liver curable?
Grade 1 fatty liver occurs in the initial stages, where the fat is accumulated outside the liver, but it does not interfere with the liver’s functioning.
People with Grade 1 fatty liver show no symptoms. They usually know about it mostly through routine ultrasounds or health checkups for other conditions.
Grade 1 fatty liver is a mild form of the condition. People with grade 1 fatty liver must exercise and monitor their diet and try to avoid alcohol as well as reduce the consumption of fatty foods.
Since it is mild, grade 1 fatty liver is curable, provided you regularly consume the right diet and exercise.
Difference between grade 1 and grade 2 fatty liver
In alcoholic fatty liver grade 2: a significant amount of fat accumulates in the liver. This storage takes place in the form of tiny droplets in the liver. If the grade 1 fatty liver disease is not reversed, it progresses to grade 2 fatty liver.
Like grade 1, alcoholic fatty liver grade 2 can also be reversed in the initial stages. It is curable by changing lifestyle and stopping alcohol consumption. But a liver transplant might also be needed if the disease progresses to the most severe form – cirrhosis.
What are the effects of fatty liver?
The main effect of fatty liver diseases is cirrhosis, which causes liver scarring. Scarring can result into:
- Fluid buildup in the abdomen
- Swollen veins in the esophagus that can rupture and bleed
- Slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
Fatty liver disease is a result of lifestyle choices. One can prevent this condition from worsening by modifying these choices, such as reducing or avoiding alcohol consumption.
For more information on fatty liver disease, visit us at Grace Laboratory. If you wish to check what stage of fatty liver disease you have, you can diagnose it by undergoing a liver test at our laboratory.