The Four Stages Of Fatty Liver Disease- Explained


Last Updated: January 01, 2023, 18:45 IST

A new study has discovered evidence that COVID-19 infection causes increased liver stiffness and may result in long-term liver damage.

People who drink too much alcohol are highly prone to contract the illness in their lives.

Fatty liver is a medical condition associated with the accumulation of fat in a person’s liver that can over time damage its function. Medical experts have identified two types of fatty liver disease, one in which a person only has fat but no damage to the liver, it is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In another, the accumulated fats show signs of inflammation and cell damage which is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). People who drink too much alcohol are highly prone to contract the illness in their lives. Now, in a recent interaction with Hindustan Times, a medical expert has highlighted the four stages when one should start worrying about fatty liver.

Worrying signs about fatty liver

Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dr Pratik Tibdewal, who works at the Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai said that the disease occurs in four stages.

First stage: The expert denotes this stage as ‘no red flag’ as it references the time when fats begin to build up in the liver without any cell damage or inflammation. Most people don’t even realize that they carry the sickness at this stage.

Second stage

This stage denotes the time when the accumulated fat becomes inflamed and results in damaging liver tissues. If the condition becomes serious it can lead to scarring of the liver and fibrosis.

Third stage

In this stage, the scarring of the liver becomes visible and the inflammation also affects the blood vessels. One must seek immediate help to reduce the scarring to prevent further progression and damage.

Fourth stage

The expert suggests the fourth stage is called cirrhosis, wherein the issue becomes lethal as the function of the liver completely stops. The signs and symptoms include pale skin, pain in the lower right of the ribs, swelling, bleeding, and more. In serious cases, liver transplantation is also recommended for patients at this stage.

What are the risk factors for developing a fatty liver?

While the exact cause of fatty liver has not been traced yet but a report by Hopkins Medicine suggests that obesity is a common factor that leads to the sickness. The problem is also found in people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high-fat levels.

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