Fatty Infiltration Of The Liver: Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Fatty infiltration of the liver is a condition of excess accumulation of fat in the liver. Normally liver stores some amount of fat. However, in fatty liver infiltration the buildup of fat exceeds more than 5 to 10 percent of total weight of liver.

Liver is a vital organ in the body. It plays essential role in several metabolic activities. It synthesizes many substances that are needed for metabolism. It produces bile, an essential fluid for digestion of fat. Alcohol and several other toxins are filtered away by liver from the blood.

With too much of fat buildup, these important functions of liver are compromised.

Fatty infiltration for prolonged period makes liver vulnerable to injury and scarring. In the beginning fatty infiltration of liver is symptomless, but some people may experience mild symptoms of abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, fatigue etc. Fatty infiltration of liver can be of two types, alcoholic fatty liver and non alcoholic fatty liver infiltration.

Excess of alcohol consumption is one cause while the reasons for nonalcoholic liver can be high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, viral hepatitis etc.

Since the damaged liver cells to some extent have ability to regenerate, fatty infiltration is reversible if the underlying cause is corrected.

What Causes Fatty Infiltration Of The Liver?

There are several causes that can trigger fatty infiltration in the hepatic gland. The main cause is accumulation of fat in liver cells from other parts. It can be a serious concern when the fatty changes cause inflammation in liver.

Alcoholic fatty liver: One of the prominent reasons of fatty infiltration is alcoholism. Too much of alcohol consumption and regular intake can lead to fatty liver.

Non alcoholic fatty liver: When fatty infiltration of liver develops due to reasons other than alcohol consumption, it is called non -alcoholic fatty infiltration of liver. The exact reason is not known but certain contributing factors can lead to fatty liver. They are:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Malnourishment
  • Rapid loss of weight
  • High cholesterol level in blood.
  • Side effects of certain medicines such as steroids, aspirin, tetracycline etc.
  • Hepatitis C, B, HIV infection can also lead to fatty liver.

Symptoms Of Fatty Infiltration Of The Liver

Fatty infiltration of liver in its beginning stage may be asymptomatic. However, symptoms may develop when too much fat in liver cells can cause inflammatory changes in liver. Below are given some of the most common symptoms suggestive of fatty liver:

  • Fatigue
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild to moderate pain in upper right quadrant of abdomen.
  • Raised liver enzymes in blood.
  • Nausea and vomiting, especially during third trimester of pregnancy.
  • In some cases fatty liver can cause loss of weight.
  • Fatty liver if persist for a prolonged period of time can cause scarring. These may further lead to cirrhosis of liver.

Home Remedies For Fatty Infiltration Of Liver

Fatty infiltration of liver is diagnosed with the help of certain tests and medical history of the patient along with signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects fatty infiltration of liver, he will recommend certain tests such as sonogram of liver and abdomen, CT scan, blood tests for liver enzyme etc.

Once the tests confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will recommend ways to reduce the risk factors as there is no effective treatment for fatty liver disease. Following steps will help to reduce fatty liver:

  • Quit alcohol.
  • Diet modification is essential to reduce fatty liver. A healthy choice of food consisting vegetables, cereals, and low fat diet will help in reducing weight. Avoid eating too much of sugary food.
  • Reduce obesity.
  • Exercise daily as it will help to reduce your fat all around the body.
  • Medications to reduce high cholesterol level.
  • Control of diabetes.

Along with dietary and lifestyle changes, home remedies will be useful in reducing fatty infiltration.

  • Green tea: It is beneficial for patients suffering from non alcoholic fatty infiltration of liver. Catechins present in green tea improve liver function and reduce inflammation of the liver.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric has valuable antioxidant properties. It has anti-inflammatory properties which is useful in reducing inflammation of liver.
  • Lemon contains vitamin C. It initiates secretion of an enzyme called glutathione. This enzyme helps liver to neutralize toxins that pass through it. Thus lemon helps liver to detoxify the system. Pour few drops of lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Mix and drink it daily in morning. It helps to reduce fat from the body.