Tag Archives: liver disease

The Dangers of a Fatty Liver

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic fatty liver disease are two subtypes of a dangerous condition whereby a person’s liver is comprised of over 5-10% fat. While fatty liver disease is generally a reversible condition, if it is left unchecked, it can be fatal in its later stages.

What Are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease can be asymptomatic initially, or it may cause such symptoms as: fatigue, weight loss or loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, confusion or poor concentration. It may also cause an enlarged liver. Eventually, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis (irreversible scarring) of the liver, which is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver include:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Gynecomastia
  • An enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged blood vessels under the skin
  • Jaundice (yellowed skin)
  • Reddened palms

Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by exactly what its title suggests: consuming too much alcohol. It could be the result of long term alcoholism, or it could even be caused by one or two large-scale drinking binges. Some people have a genetic predisposition that may prevent their body from efficiently breaking down alcohol, making them more likely to develop alcoholic fatty liver disease. Luckily, many cases of alcoholic fatty liver disease are reversible if the person abstains from drinking more alcohol, but if it is left untreated and the person continues to drink, they are risking deadly liver complications.

Causes of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

While every case is different and the exact causes aren’t always pinpointed, some causes may include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Losing a large amount of weight too quickly
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Certain viruses
  • High triglyceride level in the blood or high cholesterol
  • A chronically poor, or high fat diet may contribute
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes is highly associated with fatty liver disease)
  • Those with diabetes, thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome or sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than others.
  • Rarely, pregnancy can cause fat to build up in the liver

Diagnosis and Treatment

Fatty liver disease is typically diagnosed when routine blood test screening of the liver (such as the ALT or GTT test) shows abnormal readings. It can also be diagnosed if the liver feels enlarged during a physical examination or ultrasound test. The doctor will likely order further tests to confirm his or her suspicion of a fatty liver. Treatment for fatty liver disease usually focuses more on lifestyle modification and treating comorbid conditions such as hyperglycemia or high cholesterol. If the person has alcoholic fatty liver disease the primary objective is break the dependency and have the patient quit drinking completely. If the patient is overweight, a healthier diet would be implemented and weight loss of 5-10% of the person’s overall body weight would be recommended.

That concludes our look at fatty liver disease, thank-you for visiting DocChat!

20 Conditions That Are Linked to Obesity

Obesity occurs when a person’s weight is over 20% higher than the healthy range for their height, or a person who has a body mass index of over 30. People who are obese have excess body fat than puts them at higher risk of developing many health complications such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

20 Conditions That Can be Influenced by Obesity

Of course not all people with these conditions are obese, and not all obese people will go on to contract health problems such as these. Diseases are complex, and often develop from a culmination of different risk factors such as lifestyle or family history. However, people who are obese are at much greater risk of developing these health problems or worsening existing health issues such as these:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Gallstones
  3. Osteoarthritis
  4. Gout
  5. Fatty liver disease
  6. Pregnancy complications
  7. Skin problems
  8. Lymphedema
  9. Atherosclerosis
  10. Metabolic disorders
  11. Cardiovascular disease
  12. Stroke
  13. Kidney disease
  14. Asthma
  15. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  16. Hypertension
  17. High cholesterol
  18. Sleep apnea
  19. Clinical depression
  20. Certain types of cancer

What Can You Do To Lower These Risks?

The best way to lower your risk of developing these health problems is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking or drinking in excess. If you are obese or overweight, try your best to lose enough weight to fall into a healthy range for your height. If you are having problems losing weight on your own, talk to your doctor (or one of ours!) today for help, such as a referral to a dietitian or individualized medical advice. 

Find the Right Exercise for You

Not everyone is a “gym person”, but where are plenty of ways to workout that don’t involve expensive memberships and other people. Take a look through some of our fitness posts:

50 Exercises You Can do Almost Anywhere

Hobbies That Can Double as Exercise

10 Simple Ways to Exercise Around the House

7 Fall Fitness Ideas

5 Strange but Cool Workout Trends

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any health-related concerns, our board certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to assist you.

man is unable to close his pants because of gaining weight

Some Scary Facts about Obesity

Obesity is one the biggest problems that has the plagued 21st century. According to recent research, 34.5% or 7.6 million Americans are overweight and obese, yet it seems that these official statistics are underestimated. Certain interest groups are quite relieved that this issue is not discussed properly. Putting on a few pounds might not affect your physical appearance, but the health consequences can be much more severe and in some cases fatal. Let’s have a look at some of the major issues that can be caused by being overweight.

Heart Disease:

Obesity has much more to do with just appearance. It affects the internal organs and their functionality as well. Carrying around some extra fat puts a heavy stress on your heart and the fattening foods clog the arteries and boost up your cholesterol levels. Both of these changes put the heart at risk.

Kidney and Liver Diseases:

With high percentages of body fat, the organs need to work hard to function properly and satisfy the need of the body. Fat reserves in the liver can cause lifelong problems and also damage the liver itself. In the same way, these increased fats can jack down your kidney’s abilities to filter waste materials which is life threatening in most cases.

Muscles and Skeletal Disorders:

Excess fat means increased body weight. This places a heavy burden on your bones, joints and muscles which lead to pain and debilitating health conditions which will last your entire lifetime. This is caused by the wearing-away of tissue that is present at the joints.


Insulin regulation in the body is mostly affected by being overweight, which leads to diabetes. This is mostly caused by weight gain, so keep your pounds under control to prevent such disease. In many cases diabetes is hereditary; but being overweight increases your chances of being diagnosed with it in the future.


Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases known to man. Believe it or not, obesity can lead to different types of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, and endometrial cancer.

Pregnancy Difficulties:

Pregnancy is a very exhausting time, and if you are obese then it makes the pregnancy, labor and delivery even more difficult. Morning sickness, drowsiness, raging hormones and severe headaches are a common side effect of pregnancy. However, overweight pregnant women often complain of other issues as well particularly high or low blood pressures and increased sugar levels.

Fitness and following a healthy routine should be a top priority of each and every individual. As they say fitness is not about being better than someone else…. It’s about being better than you used to be!