Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL & NASH) is spreading at a very fast phase all around the world, especially in western nations where the diet contains high amount of unhealthy fat. It ias modern lifestyle disease. In the United States of America, it is the most common form of chronic liver disease which is affecting an estimated 80 to 100 million people.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs irrespective of age group but especially in people in their late forties and above are at high risk of heart disease or insulin resistance because of such risk factors as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The condition is also closely linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of abnormalities including increased abdominal fat and poor ability to use the hormone insulin, high blood pressure and high levels of triglycerides (A type of unhealthy fat).
Fatty liver is graded in to three grades grade 1 (mild), grade 2 (moderate), and grade 3 (severe) based on the degree of hepatocellular steatosis, ballooning, disarray and inflammation (intralobular and portal)
Types of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) – Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name implies, the main characteristic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is too much fat stored in liver cells. Non-alcoholic fatty liver usually does not progress to liver damage or NASH. The hepatic steatosis without hepatocellular injury (ballooning) or fibrosis.
Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) – Hepatic steatosis with hepatocyte injury (ballooning) with or without fibrosis. NASH includes both a fatty liver and liver inflammation. NASH is a serious condition when compared to simple fatty liver. As NASH evolves, over the time it can result in excessive scarring in the liver usually called as fibrosis as a natural response to injury which can lead to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. It may also lead to complications such as liver failure or cardiovascular disease.
Researchers are artificially creating NASH like conditions in animal by feeding them high fat diets and conducting research for discovering drugs to cure NASH.
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