Fat, fat, fat — a relatively-normal reaction of the organism to plenty of factors that may frighten people. Having fat in the body is healthy, and necessary for us to function and live, although it may be linked to many risks that deprive individuals of living without health concerns. One concern the fat may be related to is a disease, in particular, the one that affects the liver, the second largest organ in our systems — fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease is usually invisible to individuals (when it comes to first stages), as they may experience no symptoms and live as usual. Still, the liver which is responsible for dealing with harmful toxins, and processing useful nutrients is no longer capable of serving its duty in full. Usually, the phenomenon of this disease is linked to excessive drinking of alcohol, however, patients who never ever drink it can suffer the same, and it is considered a nonalcoholic type. These patients are most likely to acquire it because of obesity and several other medical conditions they are diagnosed with. To understand the approaches to managing this problem, let’s dive into its causes, and find out whether pharmacy care is the right solution to alleviate its manifestations.
Profile of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is actually a build-up of excessive fat in the liver. When the liver has no or little fat, the person does not experience any symptoms, however, when the fat is in excess, it may even lead to cirrhosis. In addition, those who have diabetes and NAFLD are at great risk of suffering from heart problems further on.
NAFLD is classified into 4 types, where the first type is the most common, and people live with it without even being aware of any harmful processes ongoing in their systems.
- Steatosis — the onset of changes with the liver function. It is usually diagnosed with screening, and the vast majority of patients get to know about it by accident when doing tests for other health concerns;
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) — the inflammation of the liver which may lead to its damage. It is a more worsened condition which may cause scarring of the organ;
- Fibrosis — the excessive number of scar tissues in the liver which is most likely to lead to cirrhosis. It happens when the liver itself tries to repair its condition and functioning, but the attempts are useless;
- Cirrhosis — the final stage of NAFLD when inflammation is present and not treated for years. The liver is scarred and may lead to the onset of cancer.
Who may come across this problem? As was said above, obese people are at great risk of suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, however, there are several other targeted individuals who have:
- 2-type diabetes;
- high blood pressure;
- high cholesterol levels;
- metabolic syndrome;
- individuals who are older than 45–50 years;
- individuals who are heavy smokers.
Finally, there are cases when people without the above-mentioned characteristics have been diagnosed with NAFLD including children. To identify this disease in its early stages, the doctor may assign the patient to blood tests or liver-function screening including tummy ultrasound.
How to Manage NAFLD with Medications?
Unlike other liver/kidney diseases, NAFLD does not have one magic medication that can help the patient to treat it once and forever. You won’t also find a medication that targets the excessive fat in the liver. Still, it does not mean that there are no treatment protocols. First off, the doctor starts with identifying the primary reason for the disease and then managing its manifestations. Though, it does not concern the final stage — cirrhosis which may require even liver transplant, and only hospital care.
One of the first-line solutions to manage NAFLD is to obviously deal with the consumption of fatty foods, as patients with this disease are most likely to have obesity. Besides, the doctor may prescribe weight loss medications that may assist the treatment. It should be mentioned that some drugs may worsen the condition of the liver, so it is forbidden to buy any weight loss pills promoted to guarantee fast results. Secondly, the patients may be assigned to the management of drinking alcohol and quitting smoking that may be also facilitated with pharmacy care.
Finally, there are certain vitamins including E that are believed to help prevent the worsening of NAFLD and assisting the treatment. Still, more studies are required to prove their efficacy.
Before taking any health supplements, the patient should obligatorily receive the expert’s consultation. At My Canadian Pharmacy, a cost-effective distributor of affordable pharmacy care, there are a number of solutions that are involved in the NAFLD treatment protocol accompanied by professional counseling that will guide you through the right selection of medicines taking into consideration your particular case. After confirming with your doctor the list of solutions, you may address it to the pharmacist and receive the best deals for saving your pocket, and facilitating the management of NAFLD, as the whole treatment is not fast, and accordingly, not cheap.
Diet for NAFLD
NAFLD may be alleviated with the right diet which is usually tailored individually per each patient. Though, there are some working ways which are always involved as well:
- Enrich meal plan with fruits, greens, and whole grains;
- Minimize snacks, especially with trans fats that may also damage your liver;
- Limit animals foods with saturated fats including red meats;
- Manage the consumption of refined carbohydrates — rice, sweets, white bread;
- Avoid alcohol.
Diet, the patient is most likely to be assigned to is typically limited in fats, however, it does not mean that the person should avoid the consumption of any. It is strictly forbidden to limit in full the meals rich in fats, as they are necessary for the functioning of other organs. So, fasting and other protein-only diets are not recommended.
Finally, exercises are involved as well. And, those who have a hereditary predisposition to diabetes or already diagnosed with this medical condition should always remember about controlling the blood sugar levels to avoid NAFLD impact on diabetes.
As you may see, this liver disease cannot be cured with medications designated particularly for it. The treatment protocol is complex and firstly aims to affect the roots of the problem including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol levels among others. As far as NAFLD may be present in your body for long-time and you won’t even know about it, make a habit of undergoing screening once a year to detect any abnormalities with your liver.