by Arizona Medifast
Liver disease is often associated with persons that may have been heavy drinkers or substance abusers as the liver’s job of filtering your blood is compounded when there are hazardous substances in the blood. But most people do not realize that being overweight can have a
negative effect on the liver as well. Along with America’s obesity epidemic is a little-known condition called fatty liver. Fatty liver disease is a non-discriminatory condition that knows no gender; however it does seem to have a propensity to affect hispanic individuals.
Usually affecting overweight persons of middle age, it can also affect children. It is estimated that 20% of American adults suffer from some form of fatty liver disease due to obesity; however it also affects those with diabetes. It is believed that the condition occurs due to insulin resistance, often a consequence of obesity, and this insulin resistance may perpetuate obesity as insulin resistance increases the amounts of free fatty acids in the blood. Obesity leads to insulin resistance, insulin resistance then leads to a higher fat content in the blood. In turn, this leads to weight gain, a vicious circle.
Fatty liver disease occurs due to the buildup of these free fatty acids in the blood. If this leads to inflammation of the liver, and no alcohol is involved, the condition is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Approximately 10% of individuals affected with fatty liver disease go on to develop NASH. Most often people with NASH will live with the condition for years with no real ill effects, however around 26% of persons with NASH develop cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is a condition of an abundance of scar tissue within the liver that is irreversible and can lead to an increased risk of liver cancer, or even complete liver failure resulting in death. Obese persons that consume alcohol have an increased risk of developing cirrhosis over obese persons that abstain from alcohol consumption. Although the risk of cirrhosis and cancer is real, it is more likely that those with NASH will have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It isn’t the NASH itself that causes heart disease or stroke, but rather the general overall health that causes NASH that will contribute to heart disease and stroke.
The best way to avoid these conditions is to maintain a healthy weight and
low body fat ratio, as well as exercising on a regular basis. Medifast in Arizona
offers 5 weight loss centers to help individuals reach their healthy weight goals. One-on-one visits are offered along with customized programs that are healthy, safe and quick!