How do I know if I’m at risk for fatty liver disease?

When singer George Michael died at the age of 53 of dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, a lot of people asked what is fatty liver disease and am I at risk and not know it?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD affects an estimated 25 percent of Americans and 80 to 100 million people around the world according to the World Health Organization. Yet, despite the prevalence of the disease, it remains barely a blip on people’s health radar because for the most part it usually has no symptoms. Nevertheless, there is a growing concern among physicians that there are reasons to pay attention.

“Fatty liver was incorrectly thought to be benign,” Elizabeth K. Speliotes, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, said in the university’s Michigan Health online magazine, “but more recent data suggest that it is a metabolic abnormality that can lead to damage of the liver as well as correlate with other non-liver diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.”

Knowing your liver is healthy can save your life, some common symptoms and indicators for fatty liver disease include; yellow skin, fingernails, sweaty palms, and bad breath. If you have concerns with your liver health, a diagnostic test can provide you with a ‘score’ that indicates your level of liver injury and stage of liver disease.

While the causes of NAFLD are not defined, you may be at risk if you have metabolic syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of abnormal conditions including increased abdominal fat, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat.

You may be at risk if you have:

  • High cholesterol and
  • High levels of triglycerides,
  • Metabolic syndrome,
  • Obesity,
  • Sleep apnea,
  • Type 2 diabetes,
  • Underactive thyroid or pituitary glands.

If you have two or more of these risk factors, you may want to discuss diagnostic liver testing with your doctor. LiverFAStTM is a non-invasive liver disease screen for early detection of NAFLC, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis. For more information contact us via email, or by phone at 1-888-552-1603.

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