Because your fat will build up around your organs.
Fatty liver is a condition in which the cells of the liver accumulate abnormally increased amounts of fat. Although excessive consumption of alcohol is a very common cause of fatty liver (alcoholic fatty liver), there is another form of fatty liver, termed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), in which alcohol has been excluded as a cause. In nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, other recognized causes of fatty liver that are less common causes than alcohol also are excluded.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a manifestation of an abnormality of metabolism within the liver. The liver is an important organ in the metabolism (handling) of fat. The liver makes and exports fat to other parts of the body. It also removes fat from the blood that has been released by other tissues in the body, for example, by fat cells, or absorbed from the food we eat. In nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the handling of fat by liver cells is disturbed. Increased amounts of fat are removed from the blood and/or are produced by liver cells, and not enough is disposed of or exported by the cells. As a result, fat accumulates in the liver.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is classified as either fatty liver (sometimes referred to as isolated fatty liver or IFL) or steatohepatitis (NASH). In both isolated fatty liver and NASH there is an abnormal amount of fat in the liver cells, but, in addition, in NASH there is inflammation within the liver, and, as a result, the liver cells are damaged, they die, and are replaced by scar tissue.
Why is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease important?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is important for several reasons. First, it is a common disease, and is increasing in prevalence. Second, NASH is an important cause of serious liver disease, leading to cirrhosis and the complications of cirrhosis–liver failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver cancer. Third, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with other very common and serious non-liver diseases, perhaps the most important being cardiovascular disease that leads to heart disease and strokes. Fatty liver probably is not the cause of these other diseases, but is a manifestation of an underlying cause that the diseases share. Fatty liver, therefore, is a clue to the presence of these other serious diseases which need to be addressed.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver facts
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD) is the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can be divided into isolated fatty liver in which there is only accumulation of fat, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in which there is fat, inflammation, and damage to liver cells.
NASH progresses to scarring and ultimately to cirrhosis, with all the complications of cirrhosis, for example, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver failure, and liver cancer.
The development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is intimately associated with and is probably caused by obesity and diabetes.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is considered a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome.
The symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are primarily those of the complications of cirrhosis in patients with NASH; isolated fatty liver infrequently causes symptoms and usually is discovered incidentally. The complications of cirrhosis include:
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
Mental changes (encephalopathy)
accumulation of fluid (ascites, edema)
The differentiation of isolated fatty liver from NASH usually requires a liver biopsy.
The most promising treatments for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are
weight loss, and
possibly bariatric surgery.
Several drugs have been studied in the treatment of NASH. There is little evidence that any drug is effective in slowing the disease progression of NASH.
Many diseases are associated with NASH and are part of the metabolic syndrome. These diseases should be screened for and treated, for example, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia and diabetes.
Isolated fatty liver rarely progresses to NASH or cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, including NASH affects young children as well.
NASH will become the number one reason for liver transplantation unless effective and safe treatments are found.
Most overweight people don’t take overweight seriously. “I’m only a few pounds overweight I diet next month.” Actually thousands even 10’s of thousands of people die every year from illnesses and diseases caused by being overweight. But it’s more than just your weight, it’s really about the amount of body fat you carry around. Some people with excess body fat aren’t really overweight. The definition of overweight to the medical community is your percentage of body fat. If the percentage of fat is too high, your overweight. In my next post I’ll discuss BMI or Body Mass Index and how your doctor uses this index to determine “obesity”.
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