Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic complication in which fat builds up in the liver. Much remains to be understood about NAFLD, but it has been linked to unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as obesity. The condition is largely asymptomatic at first. However, if NAFLD is detected early, the progression can be halted or even reversed with the implementation of weight loss strategies.
It is important to note that the study had several limitations.
The cross-sectional study used a small sample of 42 participants “inhibiting generalizability” to the population, the researchers acknowledged.
“In addition, no control group was used to compare a symptom experience in people without NAFLD with those with NAFLD,” they wrote.
They concluded: “Further research would benefit from including a control group of people without NAFLD, matched by age, sex, weight and ethnicity, in order to minimize the effects of biases and confounders on understanding. of these relationships. ”
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How is NAFLD diagnosed?
The NHS explains: “NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.”
But blood tests don’t always detect NAFLD.
“The condition can also be spotted during an ultrasound of your belly,” says the NHS.
This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body.
The health organization adds, “For some people, this excess fat acts as a toxin for liver cells, causing inflammation of the liver and NASH, which can lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the liver.
Can NAFLD be treated?
There are no specific treatments for NAFLD yet.
However, there is a lot of research being done to try to find a cure, especially for people with more advanced stages of liver fibrosis and inflammation.