What You Should Know About Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease

Published:November 18th, 2010

Fatty liver is the accumulation of excess fats and triglycerides within the liver cells.  This may be due to the decrease in the fat metabolism, the process of converting stored fat into energy and the increase in the production of fatty acids within the liver. Health experts once thought that fatty liver can only be seen among alcoholics.  However, based on the aforementioned source, non-alcoholic fatty liver can also occur in patient without a history of alcohol use. In fact, according to Emedicine, the incidence of this non-alcoholic liver problem is present in around twenty-five to thirty-five percent of the population. Furthermore, among non-alcoholics, fatty liver is found in an almost unbelievable eighty percent of the obese population.

Fatty liver was once believed to be a non-problematic health condition.  However, according to Emedicine, it has been shown in recent studies that fatty liver condition may progress liver fibrosis or toughness of the liver.  This in turn may progress to liver cirrhosis, a chronic liver condition associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

The most common associated risk factor for the development of fatty liver is metabolic syndrome, a rising global epidemic that involves diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol levels. However, it may also occur in patients with poor nutritional status such as overnutrition and severe malnutrition. Interestingly, fatty liver has also been observed in patients who use of crash or starvation diets to achieve rapid weight reduction.

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