Manage Your Liver
Q:

What is the difference between fatty liver disease, AFL, NAFLD, and NASH? What are their treatment options?

A:

Fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in liver cells. Fatty liver can be categorized into two types in general: alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Alcoholic fatty liver (AFL) is caused by excess consumption of alcohol and is usually reversible. [1] 

 

However, unlike alcoholic fatty liver, the cause for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not clear. NAFLD is a spectrum of diseases that ranges from mild to severe. The mild form of NAFLD is also known as simple fatty liver; while the more severe form is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). 

 

NASH is characterized by buildup of fat in the liver, along with inflammation and liver damage. It is a serious condition as it has higher risk of advancing to cirrhosis and liver cancer. On the other hand, simple fatty liver generally does not cause great harm and most people do not have any symptoms. The ALT level of NASH patients are also usually more elevated than those with fatty liver. [2]

 

Currently, there is no specific treatment for alcoholic fatty liver. But if patients quit drinking and lead a healthy lifestyle, alcoholic fatty liver can usually be reversed. [1] There is also no conventional medical therapy to treat NAFLD or NASH. [2]

 

However, research papers on PubMed suggest that YHK, a natural alternative therapy, has an inhibitory effect on the development of NASH; it has been proven to effectively stop inflammation in the liver and help liver cells recover. A clinical study shows that NASH patients’ ALT values reduced to normal levels within 2 weeks of using YHK. [3][4][5]

 

Summary Table

 

Alcoholic Fatty Liver

NAFLD

NASH

Diagnosis

Usually diagnosed in asymptomatic patients who are undergoing evaluation for abnormal liver function tests. [6]

Liver biopsy – NAFLD or simple fatty liver is diagnosed if the tissue shows fat without inflammation and damage. [2]

Liver biopsy - NASH is diagnosed if the tissue shows fat along with inflammation and damage to liver cells. [2]

Progression

Alcoholic fatty liver (simple steatosis)

Alcoholic hepatitis

Alcohol-related cirrhosis

NASH

Cirrhosis

Liver cancer

Cirrhosis

Liver cancer

Treatment

Cease drinking

Reduce weight

YHK

Disclaimer:
  • * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.
Related Questions
A:
Recently we have received a number of inquiries about the treatment options for fatty liver. After being diagnosed with fatty liver disease, patients are often left with frustration, not sure what they can do to fix this problem. Like in many cases, doctors are unable to offer any clear treatment options apart from diet and exercise.   Why don’t doctors offer any treatment plans? Though fatty liver is common, currently there is still
A:
Fatty liver disease is often found in people with obesity or diabetes. However, people who appear healthy and have a normal weight might also have this problem – have you ever wondered why? Someone could live a healthy lifestyle and don't have any obvious risk factors for NAFLD, but could still have an elevated ALT level (commonly a first indicator of fatty liver disease). Why is it the case? Recent research discovered that our genes are to be blamed.  
Hit Questions
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Fibrosis is scarring of the liver that results from chronic inflammation. It is a process where the damaged, dying liver cells are replaced by fibrous scar tissue, causing the liver to become hard. The extent of liver fibrosis can vary, and it is often classified in several stages. The most common classification is a scale from F0 to F4. F0 indicates no fibrosis. A normal liver is at a stage between F0 and F1. F2 denotes light fibrosis, and F3 indicates severe fibrosis. When scar tissue build
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