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Fatty Liver

Fatty liver is a condition that involves steatosis, where fat abnormally builds up in the patient's liver cells. It can lead to the appearance of elevated liver enzymes.

Symptoms

In many cases, a patient does not display any symptoms when he has fatty liver disease. Yet, when the condition progresses, some things may be noticeable. For instance, the person might feel exhausted and weak. He may lose weight despite not intending to do so. Those symptoms may also show up if the patient develops cirrhosis. If cirrhosis does affect the patient, then some of the additional symptoms that may appear include swelling (retaining fluid in the person's body) and muscle wasting. Liver failure is also amongst the other potential things that may occur in this situation.

Causes

One of the major causes of fatty liver disease is excessive use of alcohol. It is also frequently linked to metabolic syndrome. Yet, there are many other possible reasons that it may be brought on. For instance, viral infections such as hepatitis C and HIV can lead to it. Malnutrition is a possible reason. It can also be caused by serious weight loss. Oxidative stress that takes place inside the person's liver cells is another possibility.



Diagnosis

A case of fatty liver disease is diagnosed by a doctor or someone else who is qualified to do so. In many cases, no symptoms are noticed. Elevated liver enzymes may be noted if the patient has a liver function test administered. If the cases is alcoholic in nature, then the AST is usually higher than the ALT, by a ratio of greater than 2 to 1. In other types of the illness, the ALT is typically higher. Other things can also be taken into consideration.

Treatment

The medical reason behind the case of fatty liver is to be taken into consideration when a treatment method is selected. It is usually possible to reverse the fat build up if the treatment is begun early enough, although this is not the case all the time. One of the methods that is used is weight reduction, if the patient is overweight. Avoiding alcohol is another treatment that is employed. Diet modifications that lead to what is considered a more healthy intake of food and nutrients is also a possibility. The person might also become more physically active. Talk with a doctor to try to find out which methods (from these and/or others) are best in your particular case.

You can read about other medical causes of raised enzymes, or return home to read more in general about elevated liver enzymes.

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