Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
It may surprise you that there is a mostly symptomless condition that 20-33% of all Americans have of their liver that ultimately could result in them needing a liver transplant. I am referring to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. NAFLD is predicted to replace hepatitis C and alcohol abuse as the most frequent indication for liver transplantation in the next 10-15 years! NAFLD is defined as deposition of fat in the liver cells with minimal or no alcohol intake. It is linked to a group of progressive conditions closely associated with being overweight and obesity, insulin resistance, certain medications, and metabolic syndrome*. NAFLD can eventually lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH and about 20% of those patients will go on to liver cirrhosis (irreversible result of fibrous scarring) with its accompanying risk of liver failure or liver cancer. Overall, people with NAFLD stand a 12% risk of liver related death over ten years. In short it is a silent epidemic that few people talk about.
Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis of NAFLD
Symptomatically a patient may have fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen....