Q:

How can I diffuse fatty infiltration of my liver?

A:

According to the Mayo Clinic, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet and lowering cholesterol sometimes help to control fatty infiltrates of the liver. Additionally, getting at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, avoiding alcohol and using over-the-counter medicines in accordance with the manufacturer's directions are strategies that may also help.

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, fatty infiltrates in the liver, also known as steatosis, occur in about 30 percent of the adult population in the United States. Excessive alcohol consumption is one cause of this condition; however, it occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol, as well. In those cases it is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Usually a benign condition that causes no symptoms, fatty liver disease sometimes progresses to a more serious condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which fatty changes are associated with inflammation and injury to or scarring (fibrosis) of the liver cells. Cirrhosis related to NASH is one of the leading reasons for liver transplantation in the U.S.

The Cleveland Clinic explains that non-alcoholic fatty liver and NASH are strongly associated with obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, all of which are common conditions in the U.S. Further, the incidence of liver disease increases with body mass. Thus, controlling diabetes and obesity are two of the major factors in preventing complications associated with fatty liver disease. Doctors sometimes prescribe oral diabetes medications, lipid-lowering agents and a number of other medicines for people with fatty infiltrates of the liver who are at risk of developing NASH.

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