Fatty Liver on the Rise


SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s a condition that most Americans have never heard of and now experts say as many as one in three of us may be at risk. Fatty liver disease is on the rise. Here’s more on the condition and the continued search for an effective treatment for this gradual killer.

“I didn’t have any symptoms,” said Leticia Ortega.

Ortega may not have had symptoms, but she did in fact have fatty liver disease, a serious disease where excess fat accumulates in the liver.

Douglas Denham, DO, the medical director of Clinical Trials of Texas, explained, “When the fat accumulates in the cell that causes damage to the structure cell and how it functions.” (Read Full Interview)

Like Ortega, people with fatty liver disease don’t have symptoms. Still there are factors that can lead to fatty liver, including obesity.

Dr. Denham detailed, “You may be getting a little increased girth, but you’re not gonna have liver pain. Those kinds of symptoms are the kinds of things that don’t show up until cirrhosis, the end stage of this kind of thing.”

The disease is also more prevalent in Hispanics, who are genetically predisposed to it. Diagnosing fatty liver disease takes an invasive biopsy to determine if the liver is storing too much fat.

“We don’t have a treatment for this disease, yet,” Dr. Denham told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Denham is currently testing a new oral medication that could treat fatty liver disease. Until a medication is approved, he said people can lower their risk by keeping at a healthy weight. If you think you are at risk, talk to your doctor.

Dr. Denham said, “As a patient, take the bull by the horns and ask those questions.”

Those are questions that could save your life.

There are several clinical trials currently underway for treatment of fatty liver disease.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Shari St Clair, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer.



TOPIC:       Fatty Liver on the Rise

REPORT:   MB #4202


BACKGROUND: Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a new and serious global epidemic that affects more than 80 million Americans. The disease wasn’t described until 1980 where two types were determined: Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD), and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Both types normally affect people in their middle-age and it’s more prevalent in Hispanic than non-Hispanic people.  Fatty liver is associated with high risk factors of heart attacks, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
(Source: http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/fatty-liver-disease#1 & http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/home/ovc-20211638?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Fatty-liver&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panel)

WHAT CAUSES IT: Storing some fat in the liver is normal, but when this fat surpasses 10 percent of the organ’s weight, fatty liver takes place. One of the main reasons why it occurs is due to alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, there are other causes that can lead to fatty liver like: obesity, hepatitis C, storing too much iron in body, high cholesterol, medications, fast weight loss, malnutrition, and even being pregnant.
(Source: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/home/ovc-20211638?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Fatty-liver&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panel)

SYMPTOMS & TREATMENTS: Fatty liver rarely comes with symptoms, but they can start to show up over time. Symptoms can be exhaustion, rapid weight loss and lack of appetite; weakness, nausea, confusion and/or trouble concentrating, pain in the upper or middle abdomen, and dark color patches in the neck and under-arm skin. There are no treatments when it comes to fatty liver, but making life-style changes is the best option when trying to control the disease. If the fatty liver is caused by alcohol consumption, then alcohol needs to be eliminated completely. If it’s nonalcoholic fatty liver, then the patient needs to be checked for diabetes; also if obese, he or she needs to make a change in diet and start to gradually lose weight every week. Dr. Douglas Denham, the clinical director for Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc. is currently in the process of medical trials testing a medication that will help treat this disease. He and his team are currently on phase 2 of the trial.
(Source: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/home/ovc-20211638?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Fatty-liver&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panel & Dr. Douglas Denham)


Cindi Nellis



If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Douglas Denham, DO

Read the entire Q&A