Fatty liver is a health condition in which the extra fat tissue layer on the walls of the liver causes further complications in the human body. In a recent study conducted in India, one in three Indian adults and children had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. A 2023 study also revealed that nearly 43.8% of the adult population in Bhopal was affected by fatty liver syndrome. While you may think that fatty liver syndrome is more common in urban Indian provinces due to the fast-paced lifestyle, recent studies offered a different picture altogether. It seems people in rural India are also affected by fatty liver syndrome.
While NAFLD is a lifestyle disease, alcoholic fatty liver disease or AFLD happens due to excessive alcohol consumption in humans. It is also estimated that nearly 2.6 lakhs of Indian adults lose their lives due to alcoholic liver disease, including AFLD, liver cirrhosis, etc.
But thankfully, modern medical science has taken new steps to control fatty liver disease, namely Fibroscan, effective medication, and lifestyle changes for a better future. In this article, you will know all the details related to fatty liver and Fibroscan, and some other helpful information/
What is fatty liver, and how does it happen?
Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition in which a human liver develops extra fat or adipose tissue layers. Usually, a healthy human liver has 2-3% of fat. But, if the amount of fat increases more than 5-10%, it is called fatty liver.
Fatty liver usually does not display any significant symptoms and often remains undiagnosed. For some people, a fatty liver also does not pose a challenge. But, if the fat content in your liver is very high, and the liver starts to get swollen, it becomes dangerous. The extra layer of fat in the liver damages the liver tissues. It can even lead to liver cirrhosis as well.
Fatty liver disease usually has these stages-
· Steatohepatitis-Inflamed liver rat causes damage to tissue,
· Fibrosis- The damaged area forms scar tissues,
· Cirrhosis- The liver is damaged and has more scar tissues than normal tissues
Fatty liver disease can be of two types-
· Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease- This happens due to several other causes like type two diabetes, obesity, thyroid, excessive junk food consumption, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc.
· Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease- It happens to those who suffer from alcohol abuse and the high amount of alcohol damages the liver significantly.
Symptoms of fatty liver disease-
This health syndrome often goes unnoticed (mostly for NAFLD or those who do not consume alcohol). Some common symptoms are-
· Weight loss
· Nausea and vomiting
· Oedema or swollen legs and abdominal area
· Sharp pain on the upper right side of your abdomen
Fibroscan and its relation with liver disease
Fibroscan is the sole FDA-approved method to detect fatty liver disease or liver fibrosis in patients. It is a non-invasive medical device that can determine the thickness of the fat layer present in the liver. Not just fatty liver, it can also help to detect hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and other liver-related diseases.
The Fibroscan machine has been used effectively since its introduction. The present national Viral Hepatitis Control Program, Punjab M Hepatitis C Relief program, and Operation guidelines of NAFLD have mentioned Fibroscan as a way to determine the disease and administer treatment,
How is a Fibroscan conducted?
Fibroscan machines are now quite common in most Indian hospitals, and the Indian National Association of the Study of the Liver, aka INASL, also recommends it. Patients undergoing Fibroscan are advised not to properly consume any liquid or solid food item three to four hours before the test.
The patient is directed to lie on their back with their right arm placed above their head to make their right abdominal area more accessible. The medical experts then applied water-based gel on the exposed abdominal skin and then placed the Fibroscan probe on the skin.
The probe emits ultrasound waves in your body. The sound waves will bounce back after being reflected from the liver wall. The machine calculates the thickness of the fat layer on the liver by checking the results of the ultrasound waves. The procedure is very fast and takes only five to ten minutes to complete.
How Fibroscan reports can be checked-
The percentage of fat in your liver is determined by the CAP score obtained from the Fibroscan test. Usually, a CAP score of 100 dB /Mm is considered normal. The core can range from 100 to 400 dB /m.
The higher score means higher damage in the liver, and it indicates more part of the liver is now made of scarred tissue rather than normal liver tissue.
Similarly, the Fibroscan measures liver stiffness to improve the fibrosis score. A fibrosis score of 207 kPA is normal. The score can range from 2 kPA to 17kPa or higher. The higher score denotes higher damage, and more than 15 kPa means the liver has developed cirrhosis due to excessive fat content.
How to treat fatty liver syndrome?
If the fatty liver syndrome is not severe, most people are advised to undergo lifestyle changes.
For people suffering from NAFLD, doctors usually recommend consuming whole and natural food items instead of processed items, avoiding junk food, working out regularly, losing weight to control obesity, taking medication to control diabetes and hypertension
Those suffering from AFLD are advised to reduce alcohol consumption and lead a sober lifestyle. Sometimes, patients are given medicine to treat related diseases to manage their other conditions to curb fatty liver syndrome.
Fatty liver is a serious health condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. Modern science uses Fibroscan to determine the severity of FLD. It is curable with proper lifestyle changes and medication. Olivine International is a well-known global medical equipment marketer that supplies advanced medical equipment in India and other countries at an affordable rate.
It mainly covers fatty liver and that parameter. There is another diagnostic parameter in the machine measuring stiffness of liver which gives results with respect to Cirrhosis & liver scarring.
A small article can also be written about all new parameter launched with our latest model FS – 630 Expert – SPLEEN STIFFNESS MANAGEMENT.
Please note Fibroscan is a proprietary technology it was the first ever technology that could non invasive diagnose the liver –
Basically liver function tests/Blood tests or straight Biopsy of liver – except these 2 there were not any tool to for non invasive diagnosis. This is where FibroScan filed the gap
Now it has a néw parameter
It is the first ever machine to diagnose the spleen in the body – non invasively.