Fatty liver disease: Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and the sleep-wake cycle, are signs


Symptoms of liver disease can be subtle to nonexistent until the disease has reached such a severe stage that it is too late to reverse it. Most of us don’t think about our liver and its well-being and give it the care it deserves. Over 18 million people in the UK have early stage non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and many of them don’t even know it. This results in inflammation and potentially irreparable damage. Experiencing these six sleep disorders could indicate problems.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is usually secreted just before a person wakes up in the morning, helping them feel refreshed and energized for the day ahead.

Melatonin, on the other hand, is produced when natural light fades, helping to feel relaxed and drowsy in preparation for bedtime.

The liver can influence these hormones in several ways.

First, if you are prone to stress or anxiety, it may mean that your blood level of cortisol is rising, thus increasing the workload on the liver when it comes to turning off this hormone.

With chronic stress, the liver can become overwhelmed, which means that excess cortisol can stay in the system for longer, which in turn affects a person’s melatonin levels or sleep patterns.

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In one to study published in the National Library of Medicine, sleep disorders in patients with cirrhosis of the liver were analyzed.

The study notes: “The main causes of cirrhosis are related to harmful alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis B and C, metabolic disorders and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“Sleep-wake disorders are common in cirrhosis of the liver and associated with an impaired quality of life.

“The most common abnormalities are insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep and maintaining sleep, or non-restful sleep), excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep-wake reversal (circadian rhythm disturbances).

“A few nonspecific treatments for sleep-wake abnormalities have been tried, with encouraging results for hydroxyzine and modafinil.

“However, due to the increased potential for drug toxicity in these disabled patients, further studies are needed to address the potential role of non-drug therapies in this population (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, yoga) that have demonstrated their usefulness in insomnia. troubles. ”

Insufficient eye closure day after day can lead to even more liver dysfunction.

It also carries the added risk of negatively affecting hormone levels (especially ghrelin and leptin) in a way that increases a person’s hunger and promotes weight gain.

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Stress can also trigger restlessness and increase the risk of fatty liver disease.

By making sure you find ways to help your body de-stress, you can improve your sleep and reduce the risk of serious health consequences, including fatty liver disease.


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