There are three different levels of fatty liver: Grade 1, 2 and 3. Grade 1 is the beginning stages of a fatty liver and generally has the fewest symptoms as well as the best prognosis. As fatty liver progresses to Grade 2, Hepatitis and Grade 3, Cirrhosis, the condition gets much more serious and may require hospitalization.
Here are some basic facts about Grade 1 Fatty Liver:
- You may not have any symptoms at all during this stage.
- You may discover you have fatty liver when you are at your annual check-up and the test results showed elevated liver enzymes. The ALT enzyme will be elevated on the blood test.
- During Grade 1 Fatty Liver, your body is depositing fat cells around the outside of the liver. This still allows your liver to perform its 300+ functions for the most part since there are billions of liver cells and most of them are still working.
- The cause of Grade 1 Fatty Liver may be alcohol consumption, medications that have a side effect of causing fatty liver, diabetes, obesity, tuberculosis (use of the drug isoniazid causes fatty liver), poor diet, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and other causes.
- Ultrasound, CT scans (computerized tomography), and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be used to diagnose Grade 1 Fatty Liver.
- A biopsy of the liver may be ordered if your condition is rapidly progressing. The purpose of this test is to find liver scarring which can indicate cirrhosis of the liver, a worse condition. Cirrhosis may have a poor prognosis compared to the reversible condition of Grade 1 Fatty Liver.
- Grade 1 Fatty Liver is reversible if you initiate diet changes at this point. For example, it’s a MUST to stop drinking alcohol, which is a clear liver cell killer. It’s important to add antioxidants to the diet and to eat plenty of vegetables. At this stage of fatty liver, it’s not imperative to restrict protein.
If you’ve discovered you have Fatty Liver Grade 1, then whatever you do, don’t get depressed. Just get busy. Clean up your diet, clean out your refrigerator and your cabinets and make a commitment to move forward with your health. Give up the alcohol and start spending less time with your friends who you tend to drink alcohol with – or convince them all to go the healthy way. You can also sign up for some healthy eating cooking classes. Bring good things into your life to replace your old habits. It’s the easy way to change – before it’s too late.