One out of four people have “hepatic steatosis” in the U.S. That may not be familiar to you, but you’ll be more familiar with the more common name of fatty liver disease. It’s what your mom’s been diagnosed as having.
There’s no cure for fatty liver disease, but there are steps that your mom can take to treat it. If she’s been diagnosed, it’s time to take a closer look at what causes it and what happens next.
It is a condition that is caused by excessive fat in the liver. Ignore it, and it can worsen and cause liver damage. October is National Liver Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to address your mom’s new diagnosis.
Ask Her Doctor Which Form She Has
There are two primary forms of fatty liver disease. One of them is caused by drinking too many alcoholic beverages. If your mom has more than one drink per day, her liver disease could be the result of her drinking more than a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is more common. It occurs in children and adults who do not drink, but a lack of exercise and poor diet may impact it. A diet high in added sugar, saturated fat, or too large a portion can all factor into this type of fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease is more prevalent in certain people. The risk factors include having high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, going through menopause, having diabetes, or being obese.
What Steps Should She Take?
Her doctor will want your mom to lose weight if she’s obese and better manage chronic health conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes. She may be asked to take vitamin E supplements. If she does drink, she needs to stop.
She’ll need to exercise regularly. If her mobility is limited, she needs to work with a therapist to gain flexibility and mobility. She also may need to improve her diet with more fiber, produce, and healthy fats.
Look into the benefits of home health care services to help her learn how to take care of her liver. One of the most significant benefits is to have a physical therapist come to her home to teach her exercises that help her get more active.
A visit from a dietitian can help her learn the best diet for liver health. If she has diabetes, it’s beneficial to have her learn proper diabetes care at home. Reach out to a home health care agency to make arrangements.