Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fatty Liver Disease: the Silent Epidemic

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a problem that affects 20-30% of the population and up to 75% of obese patients. In some cases it can lead to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death. Genetic factors are suspected. Often there are no symptoms until the problem is advanced because the liver can function with as little as 25% remaining intact. There is no approved treatment other than transplant. Weight loss helps some, and vitamin E 800iu daily helps normalize microscopic changes. We also see liver enzymes improve with milk thistle and alpha lipoic acid. See New England Journal of Medicine 2010;362:1675-85.

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