Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a serious condition whereby fat accumulates in liver cells. It is not caused by drinking alcohol but it has been linked to unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as obesity. NAFLD is highly pernicious because the fatty build-up often goes undetected. However, visible symptoms can occasionally surface.
However, A number of unhealthy indicators have been linked to the development of NAFLD.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:
- Overweight or obesity
- Insulin resistance, in which your cells don’t take up sugar in response to the hormone insulin
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), indicating prediabetes or type 2 diabetes
- High levels of fats (a precursor to heart disease), particularly triglycerides, in the blood.
“These combined health problems appear to promote the deposit of fat in the liver,” explains the health body.
“For some people, this excess fat acts as a toxin to liver cells, causing liver inflammation and NASH, which may lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the liver.”
According to the health body, it’s important not to lose weight too quickly though, because this could cause problems with your liver.
What counts as a healthy weight?
The most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight is body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.
For most adults, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 means you’re a healthy weight.