Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Treatment London

Non alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the commonest cause of abnormal liver function tests in the population in Western societies. This appears to be solely or largely due to the rapidly expanding waistlines that we are developing as a society. Fat is deposited in the liver due to a condition called ‘insulin resistance’, as a direct result of our eating habits and our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. This insulin resistance is also responsible for the rapidly rising level of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and is linked with high blood cholesterol.

Does Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Matter?

Well, it certainly does matter, but the majority of people with NAFLD will not develop serious liver disease. That is largely limited to those people where there is inflammation in the liver as well as fat, the so-called Non Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH). However, people with NAFLD falling short of NASH, are at increased risk of a whole range of other diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, angina, high blood pressure and kidney failure. People with NAFLD have a lower life expectancy than those without this condition.

What if I have Non Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis?

NASH is certainly a serious condition, since it can lead directly to liver cirrhosis, which has many complications, and is best avoided.

How do I find out if I have Non Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis?

In the majority of people with NASH, other conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol indicate that there is something more going on than NAFLD. However, sometimes the only way to be sure whether NASH is present is to do a liver biopsy, that is, to take a small sample of the liver through a hollow needle, and examine it under a microscope.

Isn’t liver biopsy dangerous?

Liver biopsy carries a very low risk of serious complications, especially if there is no advanced liver disease. There is a small risk of bleeding, but with modern spring-loaded needles, and using ultrasound guidance, which we always do, the risks are very low.

Treatment of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease, London

You’ve probably already guessed that the treatment is to lose weight. And it really works. The liver usually returns to normal. The problem, of course, is getting the weight off, and, even more, keeping it off. There is no substitute for a combination of reduced food intake and aerobic exercise, and we can advise you about both of these. Very few overweight people have a ‘glandular’ problem, and taking in more calories than you burn up is the problem. There are drugs that can help with weight loss, but they have significant side-effects, and several have been withdrawn from the market. If they are necessary in your case we can advise you appropriately.

How do I get treatment?

To get further information or treatment, please contact one of our consultants at The London Bridge Digestion centre, on:

tel: +44 (0) 20 7403 3814