When setting a stage, a lot goes into the preparation to make sure everything is just right. The same can be said about most diseases. In this case, the stage is your body. Your lifestyle choices and what you consume could be setting the stage for conditions like fatty liver disease. And that’s a show no one wants to see.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Healthy liver cells typically contain little or no fat. If the liver cells have more than 5% or more fat, it is considered too much, potentially resulting in a fatty liver. Chronic alcohol abuse can result in the build-up of fat in the liver, but individuals who drink little to no alcohol can develop it too. Infections, genetics, and unhealthy diets are some examples.
Continual accumulation of fat in the liver can begin to cause damage to it, no matter the cause. There are many types of liver disease. However, without intervention, most follow the same path of progressive damage to the liver, ultimately affecting how it functions.
Stages of Fatty Liver Disease
The damage to the liver accumulates through four stages. Each progressively affects your liver’s functions. These are:
- Simple fatty liver or steatosis (means fatty change)
- In this early stage, your liver becomes enlarged or inflamed but does not impact function. Inflammation is how the liver repairs damaged tissue.
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
- If the amount of damaged tissue increases beyond the point the liver can keep up with repairs, scar tissue develops. This is known as fibrosis.
- Fibrosis is when the scar tissue begins taking the place of healthy liver tissue. Except, the scarred tissue can’t perform the same functions.
- With cirrhosis, severe scarring has built up on your liver. Now with even less healthy liver tissue, it becomes challenging for your liver to function correctly. Those in this stage may now begin to experience symptoms of liver disease. Cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.
If this blog made your liver do a slow pan, it’s time to take advantage of our FREE fibroscan (see what we did there?). Endeavor Clinical Trials is offering a FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease. Fibroscan is a quick, painless procedure that checks the health of your liver and if there’s the presence of any scarring.
Those determined to have fatty liver will have the opportunity to discuss upcoming research studies that may help. Fill out our online request form or call us at (210) 949-0807 to request an appointment today!