Is Fatty Liver Only For Fat People?

Is Fatty Liver Only For Fat People

Fat is also stored in our liver, as are many other essential substances for the body. But it has a normal level. The accumulation of more fat than normal is called fatty liver. Fatty livers are not a problem for many people but can silently develop diseases like liver cirrhosis in some. Nowadays, fatty liver disease has become a major health problem.

The main risk or cause of fatty liver is attributed to overweight or obesity. But for those who are of normal weight or who are not so fat, can they also have a fatty liver?

Body mass index, or BMI, is the formula for determining whether a person is overweight or underweight according to their height. People in the Asian region are considered to have a BMI below 23 as ‘normal’, 23–24 as ‘overweight’, and above 25 as ‘obese’.

People with a BMI below 23, i.e., those who are slim, can also have fatty livers. This rate is around 10–20 percent. It is called in medical language lean fatty liver.

Causes of a Fatty Liver Without Being Obese

1. Insulin resistance: The underlying cause of fatty liver disease is insulin resistance. This insulin resistance is responsible for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Insulin resistance is more common in obese individuals but can also occur in normal-weight individuals.

2. Belly Fat: Many of us have excess belly fat. The normal waist size is 90 cm for men and 80 cm for women. If the waist size exceeds these measurements, it indicates the presence of excess fat in the abdomen. People who are not overweight according to BMI but who have acne have a higher risk of fatty liver disease.

3. Diet: Eating too much refined sugar, excess carbohydrates, and saturated fat can lead to a fatty liver.

4. Hereditary tendency: Certain defective genes have been observed to predispose individuals to fatty liver. Therefore, if the parents have this type of genetic fatty liver, there is a risk of having children too. Despite not being overweight,

How to prevent

  1.  Develop healthy eating habits. There should be plenty of vegetables and fruits in the diet. Eat moderate-carbohydrate foods. Avoid fast food.
  2. Exercise regularly. Do brisk walking or any exercise at least five days a week for 30 minutes. Regular exercise helps reduce insulin resistance.
  3. Eat dinner early. One should abandon the habit of going to sleep with a full stomach.

Whether you are overweight or normal, a healthy diet and regular exercise will go a long way in reducing the risk of fatty liver disease.

Dr. Faiz Ahmad Khandkar: Liver and Medicine Specialist, Associate Professor, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, Dhaka

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