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199 Tsuen King Circuit, Tsuen Wan, N.T.
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
   

The second largest organ in our body, the liver performs over 500 different functions vital to life. Some of which include processing what we eat and drink into energy and nutrients we can use, removal of toxics from our blood, regulation of different hormones and supply of essential vitamins and minerals. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the build-up of extra fat in the liver that is not caused by alcohol and often present with no symptoms. NAFLD may lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which could cause the liver to swell and become impaired. NASH can be severe and lead to cirrhosis where the liver is permanently damaged. In a 2015 report, 27.3% of the population in Hong Kong is diagnosed with NAFLD.

 

Who is at risk?

People who are overweight, have diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides.

 

Treatment

There are no specific medications for treating NAFLD. Diet and lifestyle modifications remain a critical mode of intervention to reverse the course of NAFLD. Evidence suggests that weight loss is effective in improving liver disease related to NAFLD, which may also have positive influences on insulin sensitivity, hypertension and dyslipidemia.

-       Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese

-       Avoid alcohol consumption

-       Control your blood sugar level

-       Lower your cholesterol and triglyceride level

 

Diet for NAFLD should focus on consuming more healthy fats including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates, and less on refined carbohydrates and added sugar. Regular exercise is also encouraged to help maintaining weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity.

 

Prevention

There are ways to prevent the development of fatty liver.

-       Eat a healthy diet

-       Maintain a healthy weight

-       Limit alcohol consumption

-       Engage in physical activity regularly

 

Contact a registered dietitian for individual advice on diet for fatty liver disease prevention.

 

Source: http://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/ncd_watch_jun2015.pdf