As its name would suggest, fatty liver disease (also referred to as hepatic steatosis) occurs when a person has excess levels of fat in his or her liver.
A commonly known cause of fatty liver disease is excess alcohol consumption over an extended period of time, but you can actually develop the disease without drinking alcohol.
Two Types of Fatty Liver Disease
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can take two forms:
- Simple fatty liver: When it comes to NAFLD, simple fatty liver is the most common and definitely less severe form. In this case, you have excess fat stored in your liver, but it might not be causing any serious damage or inflammation. People with simple fatty liver don’t typically experience any significant symptoms or liver problems.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): Unlike simple fatty liver, NASH occurs when the excess fat causes the liver to become inflamed. The inflammation can result in damage to liver cells and even liver scarring, both of which can limit or shut down liver function altogether.
While the exact cause of NAFLD is not yet known, individuals are more likely to develop the disease when they are overweight, type 2 diabetic, have high cholesterol, are older, are malnourished, or have lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time.
Alcohol-Related Fatty Liver Disease (ALD)
With alcoholic fatty liver disease, most people see improvement after they stop drinking alcohol. However, severe health issues can arise if they continue to drink after the onset of ALD, including the development of alcoholic hepatitis or even alcoholic cirrhosis.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
Individuals with NAFLD and ALD usually do not experience symptoms until the disease becomes severe. At this point, they may start experiencing:
- Abdominal pain or uncomfortability in the upper right side of the abdomen (where the liver is located)
- Swollen abdomen
- Rapid weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your primary health physician immediately.
Are There Any Supplements That Might Help?
This summer, Vibrant Nutraceuticals is launching a new product designed to help promote liver health: Plumisol.
Plumisol’s star ingredient is prunus mume extract, which has been hailed for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protecting properties.
Studies have shown that the management of both NAFLD and ALD with Prunus mume extract has beneficial effects on various metabolic parameters as it has hepatoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to a good quality of life.
Keep an eye out for the launch of Plumisol – Coming Summer 2021!
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