Ultrasound revealed enlarged liver and fat. Can it be serious?

Expert answer:

It depends. Liver enlarged and with fat both can be a simple condition, which will not damage the liver, how can it evolve into a inflammation with organ damage.

In more severe cases, the situation may hepatical cirrhosis, which causes permanent damage to the liver.

However, in most cases, the accumulation of fat in the liver has benign progression.

O risk of cirrhosis is greater in patients seniors, diabetics and those who already have an inflammation in the liver called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Why do I have liver fat? What are the causes?

The accumulation of fat in the liver is the result of a excess fat feed which the body can not metabolize.

Even the so-called "healthy fats" present in olive oil, nuts, nuts and fish, if consumed in large quantities, can cause fatty liver.

However, the most dangerous fat is the call trans fat, because the body is not able to process it and it is easily deposited in the liver. This type of fat is present in crackers, fried foods, butters, margarines, cheese breads, among others.

Another important cause of fatty liver is the alcohol consumption. Most people who drink regularly develop fatty liver, alcohol allows a rapid accumulation of fat in the liver.

However, even people who do not consume alcohol can have fatty liver. In these cases, the accumulation of fat in the liver is caused by overweight, diabetes and high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides.

Fatty liver can also be caused by:

  • Use of medications, such as amiodarone, estrogens, corticosteroids, tamoxifen, antiretrovirals, tetracyclines;
  • Genetic metabolic diseases;
  • Fast weight loss;
  • Artificial forms of nutrition;
  • Intake of toxins such as chemicals and mushrooms;
  • Hereditary predisposition.

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What is the treatment for fatty liver?

There is no specific treatment for fatty liver and no drug is fully effective in this situation.

Therefore, the treatment is based on a series of measures, that includes:

  • Changes in lifestyle, with weight loss, diet and exercise;
  • Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages;
  • Controlling associated diseases such as diabetes;
  • Control cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Such care is key to success in treating fatty liver. Even if the patient is using some medication, it will not be very effective without these measures.

It is important to remember that the fat accumulation in the liver is reversible, if it is in an early stage.

Treatment of fatty liver should be accompanied by the hepatologist or gastroenterologist.