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Can Fatty Liver Grade 2 be Completely Cured?

By Dr. Mayuri Pandey +2 more

Introduction

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with fatty liver grade 2, you may be wondering about the possibility of a cure and the available treatment options. In this article, we will delve into the nature of fatty liver grade 2, its causes, and whether it can be reversed or managed effectively. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is estimated to impact around 25% of the global population.1 Extra sugar is changed into a form called glycogen and stored in the body for later energy use. At any given time, the liver contains approximately one pint (around 13%) of the body’s total blood supply.2

Did you know?

Fatty Liver Grade 2

  • Liver disease is more common among individuals with obesity and diabetes in the United States. Source: cdc.gov
  • The prevalence of liver disease increases with age, with the highest rates among individuals aged 45-64 years. Source: cdc.gov
  • The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in healthy young persons is 10.6%. source: PMC5206460

Overview of Fatty Liver 

Fatty liver is also called steatosis.3 Fatty liver is a condition where fat accumulates in the liver up to the level of 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight.1,3 Based on the reason for fat buildup, this condition of fatty disease can be classified into 2 types: 

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: This is not linked to heavy alcohol consumption.1 
  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease: Alcoholic fatty liver disease, as the name indicates, is highly associated with a high amount of alcohol usage.1 

Fatty liver is again classified into 3 grades:

Grade Description
Grade 1When there is 5% to 33% fat in the liver.  
Grade 2  This stage is marked by 34-66% fat accumulation in the liver.  
Grade 3This is the severe grade, wherein more than 66% of fat is accumulated in the liver.4

Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Grade 2 

Until the disease progresses to the cirrhosis stage, fatty liver grade 2 mostly does not show any symptoms.1,3 However when present, there are symptoms like: 

  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight-loss
  • Vomiting 
  • Legs and abdomen appear swollen
  • The feeling of exhaustion and debility
  • Skin colour changes to yellow
  • The white portion of your eyes may appear yellow 
  • Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.3

I may suggest, if you have liver disease, one important step you may take is to quit smoking. It’s a proactive measure that might greatly reduce the risks associated with liver disease. By giving up smoking, you might also significantly decrease your chances of developing complications like heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

When to See a Doctor

It is recommended to see a doctor if you have been diagnosed with fatty liver grade 2 or suspect that you may have it. Symptoms may not be present in the early stages, so it is important to have regular check-ups and blood tests to monitor liver function. The crucial symptoms include:

  • Fatigue 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes3

Let me give you a helpful tip for managing fatty liver disease. Make sure to include foods that are rich in fibre in your diet. Fibre is known to have several benefits for the liver and possibly promote healthy digestion.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Causes of Fatty Liver Grade 2

The causes of NAFLD are still being investigated. Studies indicate that certain health conditions or diseases, genetic factors, and diet patterns may increase the likelihood of developing NAFLD.5

  • Medical conditions and illnesses 

Having certain health conditions or diseases can increase your chances of developing NAFLD. 

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
  • Abnormal levels of fats in your blood, such as high triglycerides or abnormal cholesterol levels (high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, or low HDL cholesterol).
  • Genetics or hereditary factors
  • Scientists have discovered that specific genetic factors can increase the likelihood of developing NAFLD. The scientific community is actively investigating the genes that may contribute to NAFLD.
  • Nutrition and gastrointestinal system
  • Research is being conducted to investigate if diets high in fructose, a sugar commonly added to sweeten drinks and foods may increase the risk of NAFLD.
  • The relationship between NAFLD and the gut flora, which consists of the bacteria in the digestive tract that assist with digestion, has been studied by experts.
  • Differences in the gut flora of individuals with NAFLD and those without the condition have been observed in studies. The impact of the gut flora on NAFLD is an ongoing area of research.5

I have a friendly suggestion for you. If you have chronic liver disease, incorporating regular, caffeinated coffee into your daily routine may have some positive benefits. In fact, studies have shown that drinking three or more cups of black coffee a day might be helpful for people with fatty liver disease.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

Risk Factors for Fatty Liver Grade 2

Risk factors for fatty liver grade 2 are as follows: 

  • Unhealthy weight gain (obese)
  • Pre-existing conditions like type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia
  • Consuming steroids
  • Sleep disorders like sleep apnoea
  • Infected with hepatitis C
  • High cholesterol levels in the levels.1

I may have some exciting news for you. Incorporating olive oil into your diet might be incredibly beneficial for your liver. You see, olive oil may have the amazing ability to raise your good cholesterol, which in turn might help protect your liver from fatty liver disease. And the best part? It’s not just your liver that benefits—olive oil may also be good for your heart.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

Diagnosis of Fatty Liver Grade 2 

Diagnosis of fatty liver disease includes the enlisted factors: 1

  1. Patient medical history: Your doctor will ask about your medical history and any conditions or diseases that increase the risk of NAFLD.
  • Weight 
  • History of type 2 diabetes 
  • Cholesterol levels in your body
  • Metabolism related illnesses

The doctor might ask about your- 

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Sugar consumption
  • Alcohol consumption6
  1. Physical examination
  • Your doctor will check for an enlarged liver.
  • They will also look for signs of insulin resistance, like darkened skin patches on certain areas.
  • Additionally, they will examine for signs of cirrhosis, such as:
    • Enlarged spleen
    • Fluid build-up in the abdomen
    • Muscle loss6
  1. Testing parameters
  • Liver function test: Fatty liver is usually diagnosed after a liver function test shows unusual results and other liver problems like hepatitis are ruled out, however, blood tests do not always show fatty liver.7 
  • High levels of liver enzymes in your blood, specifically alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) may indicate NAFLD according to your doctor.6
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Fibroscan: It is a special ultrasound method that replaces liver biopsy to measure liver fat and scar tissue.3
  • Biopsy test: In some cases, a biopsy may be done to take a small sample of liver tissue for examination.
  • Sometimes, additional tests such as CT scans or MRI scans are required.

Children and young people at higher risk of NAFLD, like those with type 2 diabetes, may have an ultrasound scan of their liver every 3 years.7

Also Read: Why Does Mouthwash Burn? Decoding Oral Health Mysteries

Treatment of Fatty Liver Grade 2

No specific medication is available for treating fatty liver disease. Instead, doctors concentrate on assisting individuals in managing the factors that contribute to the condition.

  • Medication: Currently, there are no approved medications specifically for the treatment of NAFLD. 
  • However, ongoing research is being conducted to explore potential medications that could potentially improve these conditions.8
  • Weight management: Doctors recommend weight loss as a treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
  • Losing weight helps reduce fat, inflammation, and scarring in the liver.
  • To achieve weight loss, make healthy food choices, control portion sizes, and increase your physical activity. 
  • Rapid weight loss or inadequate nutrition can make liver disease worse. It is important to lose weight gradually to avoid worsening liver disease.8
  • Dietary changes: Your doctor may suggest reducing the amount of fatty foods you eat because they are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.
  • It is a good idea to choose healthier fats like those found in fish and nuts instead of unhealthy fats like those in fried or processed foods. 
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended.
    • These foods stabilize your blood sugar level unlike foods like white bread, white rice, and potatoes.
  • Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, especially those with fructose, is important. This includes sweetened sodas, sports drinks, sweet tea, and fruit juices.
    • Regular table sugar (sucrose) also contains fructose, which can be harmful to your liver.

If you have NAFLD, it is important to reduce your alcohol intake to as low as possible because alcohol can further damage your liver.9

  • Liver transplant: If severe cirrhosis occurs and the liver stops working properly, a liver transplant may be needed. This can involve receiving a liver from a deceased donor or using a portion of a liver donated by a living person.7

Prevention of Fatty Liver Grade 2

Since fatty liver grade 2 can worsen and result in liver failure and other complications, one should take preventive measures to avoid getting fatty liver: 

  • Diet modification
    • Instead of saturated and trans-fats, choose unsaturated fats.
    • Include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.9
    • Instead of soft drinks, drink more plain water.7
  • Lifestyle modification
    • To reduce liver inflammation and fibrosis, it may be necessary to shed around 7% to 10% of your body weight. 
    • Engaging in physical activity, even without weight loss, can also have positive effects.9
  • Cease alcohol intake as it can further hamper your liver health.3

Also Read: How Long Does It Take to Reverse Fatty Liver: A Guide to Restoration and Recovery

Complications of Fatty Liver Grade 2

NAFLD may lead to liver complications and other health problems.

  • Individuals with NAFL (non-alcoholic fatty liver) generally have a lower risk of liver complications, but are at higher risk for other health problems.
  • NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) can result in liver complications like cirrhosis and liver cancer. It also increases the risk of death from liver-related causes.
  • NAFLD is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death among NAFLD patients.10

Other health problems related to NAFLD include –

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Abnormal levels of cholesterol
  • Abnormal levels of triglycerides10

Research Facts About Fatty Liver Grade 2

  • Studies also indicate that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is found in approximately 75% of individuals who are overweight and in over 90% of individuals with severe obesity.10

Also Read: Grade 1 Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Reversal Strategies

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is hepatic steatosis?

Hepatic steatosis refers to the accumulation of at least 5% of liver weight as fat within the liver.4

Which fruits are good for fatty liver? 

Grapes are good for liver health, they contain bioactive compounds like flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins that promote anti-cancer effect, anti-inflammatory properties. 11

Is fatty liver painful? 

Yes, one of the main symptoms of grade 2 fatty liver is pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.3

Is it possible to reverse fatty liver disease?

The liver possesses an incredible capacity for self-repair.3

What constitutes a suitable diet for fatty liver?

Adopt a well-balanced eating plan that promotes gradual and consistent weight loss.3

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes. 

Reference

1. Fatty Liver Disease | MedlinePlus [Internet]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/fattyliverdisease.html

2. Liver: Anatomy and Functions | Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions

3. Fatty Liver Disease: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Types & Prevention [Internet]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15831-fatty-liver-disease

4. Pathogenesis and Prevention of Hepatic Steatosis – PMC [Internet]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836586/

5. Symptoms & Causes of NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK [Internet]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/symptoms-causes

6. Diagnosis of NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK [Internet]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/diagnosis

7. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – NHS [Internet]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/

8. Treatment for NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK [Internet]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/treatment

9. Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK [Internet]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/eating-diet-nutrition

10. Definition & Facts of NAFLD & NASH – NIDDK [Internet]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/definition-facts

11. Effect of dietary supplementation of grape skin and seeds on liver fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine in rats – PMC [Internet]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981719/

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