Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a good description of a condition in which the liver stores too much fat. It is the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol. Many people with mild cases of the disease are unaware of it and live seemingly healthy, happy lives. When the disease progresses to fibrosis or scarring, the liver can fail. According to scientists at the Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre and several other research facilities in Brazil, Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for fibrosis in severely obese individuals diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Their study, published in July – August of 2018 in the journal Annals of Hepatology, included 219 participants with morbid obesity. The participants with Type 2 diabetes were more than twice as likely as the non-diabetic individuals to have …
- a severe fat invasion of the liver, and almost
- five times more likely to progress to scarred livers.
The fatty liver index is used to evaluate non-alcoholic liver disease . It is based on …
- liver enzymes,
- blood cells called platelets, and
- blood protein, or aluminum.
When the liver is unhealthy enzymes abbreviated as ALT and AST, become elevated. Blood levels of platelets, cells that produce blood clots, go down in liver disease. This is because a scarred liver does not allow the spleen to empty properly, and platelets become sequestered in the spleen. Diseased livers are unable to produce normal levels of aluminum to release in the blood.
There are four stages of fibrosis …
- Stage 1 signifies no fibrosis is present.
- Stage 2 fibrosis is mild to moderate. In
- Stage 3 the fibrosis has spread through the liver.
Cirrhosis, or severe scarring, is termed Stage 4. At Stage 2 it is possible for the liver can regenerate and recover.
Early treatment consists of diet and exercise …
- loss of less than 10 percent of body weight can be helpful.
- various medications have been tried without much success.
- weight loss surgery has been used successfully.
A liver transplant may have the only option for advanced liver disease.
Severe, or morbid, obesity is defined as being 100 pounds over a normal lean weight or having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40; 35 or more with complications such as Type 2 diabetes.
The BMI is defined as body weight in kilograms divided by height in centimeters squared. It can also be calculated as pounds divided by height in inches squared, divided by 703.