Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a very common type of liver disease that is specifically not linked to drinking alcohol. A study’s results were released at the 2014 Digestive Disease Week meeting that showed through a study of 160 people with the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study tracked the process of these individuals having weight loss surgery to see the impact weight loss surgery had on improving non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study showed results of curing the liver disease faster than the common treatment options. It also helped with other conditions as a result of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, such as fibrosis, steatohepatitis, chronic portal inflammation, lobular inflammation, and steatosis.
The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, most importantly affects the liver. The liver is one of the biggest organs in the body. It is located under the right ribcage and typically weighs a few pounds for adults, shaped like a football. The liver is responsible for sending essential nutrients and energy throughout the body through food and drink sources, as well as helping to clean out bad substances from the body. The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by fat in the liver cells being built-up when not related to alcohol consumption. In a fatty liver, more than ten percent of the liver’s weight is due to fat.
The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is most common in people who have a BMI of 35 or more, and with conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol. While it is also linked to obesity, rapid weight loss and bad eating habits can also cause NAFLD, which is why researchers were so surprised by the results of patients undergoing weight loss surgery who ended up finding relief for the liver disease.
Signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, poor appetite, and skin or eyes that are turning a yellow color. It is typically diagnosed through a blood test that shows high liver enzyme counts in the blood. Imaging tests are sometimes used to help confirm the diagnosis. Following a healthy diet and exercise routine, trying to lose weight, getting your cholesterol level in check, and avoiding alcohol are all common treatment options for NAFLD.
The National Institutes of Health found a persistent link between weight loss and helping to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Since NAFLD is one of the most common liver diseases in the world, they wanted to see how much obesity and weight loss affected those with the disease. The study looked at the different treatments options that were often used for patients with the disease but showed a big difference in patients that lost weight. They found that weight loss through bariatric surgery, in particular, helped with inflammatory issues with the disease and contribute to improving the metabolic rate of the patients.
The study found that about a year after losing about 10 percent of their body weight, this group of patients who lost weight saw significant improvements in their liver disease, including helping many of the side effects associated with it. It should be noted, however, that not everyone with NAFLD has trouble with obesity. They looked at obese patients with the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who then lost weight and saw improvement in their condition. Patients with NAFLD who are not overweight will not see improvement by losing some of their weight.
Another study that was performed on patients who went through weight loss surgery after being diagnosed with the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was released at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in 2014 and conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida, Tampa. This study included 160 patients who had NAFLD and related diseases like chronic portal inflammation and fibrosis. Michel Murr, MD, a senior investigator for the study, spoke at the meeting and talked about how surprised researchers were at the improvement following bariatric surgery. Based on the findings of the study, they believe anyone who has NAFLD and a BMI of 35-40 should consider getting weight loss surgery to help alongside their other medical treatments. Among participants of the study, 82 percent of them were women, and the average age was 46 years at the first biopsy.
After the study, they noticed improved or resolved fibrosis of grade 2 and 3 in over half of the patients. They also found that 1 of 3 patients with preoperative cirrhosis also had improvement after weight loss surgery. Through their findings, they found these types of numbers across the board, with some patients finding relief from nearly every condition related to their non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They also looked at patients not yet diagnosed with NAFLD who had a BMI of 40 or more, seeing that most patients within this range of morbid or severe obesity had the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease even if they didn’t know it.
It is important to get proper diagnosis and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If you have a BMI of 40 or more, get tested for this disease. NAFLD can affect your blood pressure, cholesterol, increase your risk for diabetes and sleep apnea, and even cause more severe conditions. If you find that you have the disease, talk to your doctor about the benefits of weight loss and whether or not weight loss surgery is right for you. The surgery itself should not be considered a cure or your only treatment plan, but the resulting weight loss can be highly valuable in treating your disease.
Take your time in looking for a surgeon to perform the weight loss surgery, going through the proper steps to get your body and mind ready for this type of surgery. It is not something to rush into but requires very careful planning and a long-term commitment to eating right and exercising. Not only are you watching your portion sizes, but also need to be very careful of the types of foods you eat after surgery. Discuss the possibility of getting gastric bypass or other forms of bariatric surgery to help improve your NAFLD.
Morbid obesity can present a number of different health challenges. From difficulty sleeping to the risk of Type II diabetes, obesity is considered a severe public health crisis, contributing to dozens of diseases and a very low quality of life.
Morbid obesity is also known to reduce life expectancy dramatically. Studies have shown that those that struggle with obesity may be eliminating years from their life and reducing their quality of life during those final years. (more…)
Current Statistics on Bariatric Surgery
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the obesity rate in America is somewhere between 26-32%, almost 1 in 3 Americans. Since 1988, the average American male has gained over 17 pounds while the average female has gained about 15 ½, Spotlight on Obesity reports. If these trends continue, nearly 43% of all Americans will be obese by 2018. The CDC also reports that the annual medical cost of obesity in America is $147 billion and the annual medical cost for obese persons versus average weight individuals is $1,429 more. (more…)
According to a new review by UT Southwestern Medical Center, gastric bypass surgery has much better outcomes than gastric banding for a long-term weight loss experience. It also controls Type II Diabetes better as well as high blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels in patients. This is a result of nearly 30 long-term studies done to compare the two types of bariatric surgeries and the patients who endured each of them. (more…)
With one-third of the adults in the United States being considered obese, it is clear that obesity is a difficult issue to treat. The typical solution from physicians is a major change in diet and exercise along with medical therapy, all of which seem to fail for the most part. (more…)
Obesity is about more than just the way a person looks. Obese individuals face a greater chance of suffering comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnea. It is for these reasons that many individuals are seeking alternatives to changing their diet and exercising. Those suffering from obesity are looking to bariatric surgery for resolution. Along with bariatric surgery are some side effects and recovery that patients are not excited about. (more…)
Bariatric surgery is one of the most common methods of taking control of obesity. The weight loss from surgery can be dramatic and not every patient is a good candidate for weight loss surgery. Even the individuals that are good candidates for the surgery can often benefit from a preoperative psychosocial evaluation. (more…)
In a controlled study of 45 patients in San Francisco, California, hypoglycemic episodes seemed common while primarily unnoticed.
A three-day monitoring period of regular activity showed that symptomatic hypoglycemia appeared in 22% of 15 individuals following gastric bypass surgery. Additionally, 20% of 15 individuals who underwent biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch showed symptomatic hypoglycemia. Out of the 15 obese patients that did not go through a weight loss surgery, none of them had symptomatic hypoglycemia. These non-symptomatic patients were non-diabetic and were a match to the surgical patients in their body mass index (BMI). (more…)