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Fatty Liver Disease (cont.)

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Fatty Liver Treatment

Patient Comments

The treatment of fatty liver disease is to decrease the potential risk exposures to the liver. For those with alcoholic liver disease, abstaining from alcohol is a must. For those with NALFD or NASH, appropriate diet, weight loss, diabetes control, and cholesterol/triglyceride control are important both for treatment and to prevent progression of the disease from NAFLD to NASH, and from NASH to cirrhosis.

Patients with celiac disease who maintain a strict gluten free diet can reverse fat accumulation in the liver.

Cardiovascular exercise can help promote weight loss and weight training can increase muscle mass. This not only improves metabolism and promotes weight loss, but the increase in muscle mass helps to sensitize the cells to insulin and reduces insulin resistance.

Medical Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease

The patient and health care practitioner should work together to formulate a plan that involves lifestyle changes. A balanced diet, increased in physical activity and exercise, and medication if needed to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels, can minimize the risk factors that lead to fat infiltration of liver cells.

Medications for Fatty Liver Disease

Though there is much research underway, presently there are no medications proven to be effective in fatty liver disease; however, medications to control and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels can be used in association with diet and exercise.

Surgery for Fatty Liver Disease

In patients who are morbidity obese, bariatric surgery to promote weight loss is very effective in decreasing liver inflammation and NASH.

Follow-Up

Patients with fatty liver disease should be seen routinely in follow-up visits to their health care practitioner in order to monitor their liver function and progression to more serious liver abnormalities. Since weight loss, diet, and physical activity are the most important tools in minimizing the risk of fatty liver disease, and are the most effective treatments, consultations with a dietician and a physical trainer may be appropriate.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2014
Medical Editor:

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