OCT 13, 2017 08:04 AM PDT

Diagnosing and Treating Fatty Livers to Prevent Disease

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
3 2 275

The liver performs many vital metabolic functions for our bodies. It regulates the levels of sugar, fat, and protein that is released into our blood and removes toxins like ammonia from the bloodstream. It also synthesizes hormones and processes the nutrients that come from food absorbed by the intestines. It breaks down alcohol and many different drugs as well. Too much alcohol can do damage to the organ; heavy drinkers can cause a condition called fatty liver to develop, which can progress to cirrhosis.

Another problem in the liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), has researchers concerned. It is on the rise, although it is preventable and reversible. It is estimated that one in four people has a fatty liver. Learn more about how the disease is caused by watching the video above. If more than five percent of the cells in a person's liver contains big fat droplets, then that liver is considered fatty but can be changed back to normal with health and exercise.

NAFLD can lead to other diseases if it is not halted, such as NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). That condition is far more serious and requires invasive tests to detect. Researchers are working on creating new diagnostic tools to assess the state of the liver. There are also potential drugs to treat NASH in development, but there are no approved treatments, making prevention that much more important.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
How Spiders Use Electricity To Fly
Spider rains, or ballooning spiders, are a natural phenomenon believed by scientists to be caused by the silken threads of these unique insects that genera
JUL 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 17, 2018
Ammonia the Next Renewable Fuel?
The most obvious drawback of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy is that their production lacks continuity. A solution is to convert the electri
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Can Dark-Colored Eyes See Better?
  Other than health risks associated with certain eye colors, can some colors see better than others? For example, can brown eyes see better than ligh
JUL 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 29, 2018
Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?
During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
Is it Good to Open Your Windows During a Hurricane?
You might’ve heard the idea that opening your windows during a hurricane can reduce the stress on your home’s roof and walls as it’s bein
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Seasonal Affective Disorder Can Happen in the Summer
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a temporary mental condition where people feel sad or depressed because of the season and weather. It’s mos
Loading Comments...