The Silent Issue: Fatty Liver

Fatty liver is quite a serious issue in Malaysia, one quarter of the adult population does suffer from the disease. Having fat build up around the liver is normal if kept around 5% of the liver’s weight, but once it goes above that or up to 10%, it becomes a serious issue. The two main causes of this disease are alcohol consumption and consumption of sugar products which would lead to overweight or obesity. 

Function of Our Liver

Our liver is far more important than most of us realise. It helps our body produce bile which helps us with digestion. It also helps our body produce proteins for our body. The liver also helps store iron along with converting nutrients into energy. 

Other functions of the liver are that it helps excrete substances that help with blood clot which helps heal wounds faster. 


What makes Fatty Liver bad? 

When the liver becomes inflamed, it would cause tissue damage which is also medically known as Steatohepatitis. Once the condition of the liver gets worse, scar tissue would form at the damaged portion of the liver, this process is called Fibrosis. 

When it gets to the point where too much scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue, you would be suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. 

Cirrhosis of the liver can result in conditions like liver failure and liver cancer. The severity of diseases like fatty acid tends to be overlooked by people because of the slow progress of the disease to get from just mild, to bad then to worse. 


The Two Forms of Fatty Liver Disease

  • Alcohol-induced fatty liver disease is caused by the excessive drinking of alcoholics. 
  • Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease is experienced primarily by individuals who suffer from obesity and diabetes. Although fatty liver is not a guarantee when you are suffering from these but it would increase your risks. 


Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

There are a few symptoms of this disease, one of them being abdominal pain in the upper right side of the belly. This would also lead to nausea and the loss of appetite which would often result in weight loss in an unhealthy way. 

Jaundice which is the yellowish skin and whites of the eyes along with edema which is swollen abdomen and legs are signs of a fatty liver. 

Other symptoms include but are not exclusive to tiredness, mental confusion and weakness in the body. 

Are there treatments for Fatty Liver? 

The basic treatments that you could resort to are to avoid alcohol consumption, alongside losing weight. This would reduce the risk of suffering from fatty liver, and even help get better from it. These life changes should not just be seen as an option when faced with something like fatty liver, it should be the start to walk down the right path to a healthy lifestyle. These life changes also help prevent a lot of other medical complications that may arise from an unhealthy lifestyle. 

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Although there are no specific medicine for fatty liver malaysia, there are medications to help control diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides (fat content in the blood). Other medications such as vitamin E and medication that is used to treat diabetes would help in the process of treatment as well.