- Steatosis - obesity liver cells
Causes of liver steatosis
Steatosis (fatty liver) - a disease which resulted in impaired lipid metabolism in liver cells (hepatocytes) resulting in a sharp obesity liver cells and their death without inflammation.
Steatosis may be acute or chronic. Acute fatty liver often develops in cases of poisoning by phosphorus, arsenic, ethyl alcohol, some plants under the influence of drugs (such as tetracycline in large doses). It can be observed in the last weeks of pregnancy, due to protein deficiency the mother's body (all of the protein goes to the fetus), and vomiting associated with toxemia of pregnancy.
Chronic steatosis often occurs against the backdrop of a long continuous alcohol abuse. Also relevant are such long-occurring diseases such as diabetes mellitus
Diabetes - threatening and incurable disease
(more common in the elderly), general obesity, lack of proteins and vitamins in the diet, chronic intoxication (poisoning) organophosphorus compounds and bacterial toxins (chronic inflammation in other organs).
The reasons for this are complex, and violations are not fully understood, but now the most important factors contributing to the development of fatty liver are considered to obesity, diabetes and alcohol abuse.
If the main reason for alcoholic fatty liver is alcohol abuse, why develop non-alcoholic fatty liver, it is not yet clear. However, the factors that increase the risk of developing this disorder, among them - family history, high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes, and prediabetes (insulin resistance). Possible causes of fatty liver are also:
- Oxidative stress
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Which causes damage to the liver cells.
- Toxic inflammatory proteins from fat, liver and other cells.
- The death of liver cells (apoptosis).
- Viral hepatitis.
- Autoimmune liver disease or congenital.
- Rapid weight gain.
Recent studies give reason to assume that the uncontrolled proliferation of bacteria in the small intestine and some other changes in the intestines are also associated with the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver.
It was once thought that obesity - it's just the accumulation of fat in the body, and nothing more. Adipose tissue is considered inert - it was assumed that she was just a strategic reserve of the body in case of famine, and by itself it is not active and can not communicate with other tissues. For modern science it is clear that adipose tissue has a high metabolic activity, and may affect different tissues and structures throughout the body. It becomes most metabolically active when the body is deposited a large amount of fat - in excess weight and, particularly, obesity: adipose tissue leads to the production of various hormones and proteins that are released into the blood and affect the cells of other tissues. One result of the activity of these hormones and proteins may be the development of insulin resistance.
Insulin - a condition in which the cells of the body can not adequately respond to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin plays a critical role in the absorption of glucose from the blood cells of the body. At first, the pancreas tries to compensate for insensitivity to insulin
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generation of large amounts of the hormone, but in the end, there comes a moment when it is no longer able to secrete insulin in sufficient quantities. As a consequence, the body cells insufficiently fed glucose, and it accumulates in the blood - a condition known as diabetes. Because glucose is the major source of energy for cells and allows them to perform the functions for which they are intended, lack of glucose inevitably leads to changes in cell function.
In addition to hormones and proteins fat cells start to secrete fatty acids, resulting in their increased blood levels. This is dangerous, because certain types of fatty acids in large amounts is toxic.
As a result of these processes, liver cells, like many other cells in the body become insulin resistance and metabolic processes therein, including processing on fat, are subject to change. Hepatic tissue cells begin to absorb more fatty acids from blood, where the latter are present in excess. Then, in the liver fatty acid is converted to fat in the form in which it is usually stored in the body. At the same time, the ability to withdraw excess fat liver is broken and its concentration increases gradually. Besides, the liver continues to produce oil and getting it from food. The consequence of this is the development of fatty liver.
It should be noted that this violation is not found in all patients with diabetes or obesity - probably there are some contributing factors that determine, in an individual patient will develop steatosis, or not.
Other possible causes of fatty liver liver:
- Metabolic syndrome. This disorder can lead to obesity, high triglyceride levels, decrease the level of HDL-cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. Many of these factors, as discussed above, are associated with the development of fatty liver;
- Hepatitis C;
- Taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids, tamoxifen and methotrexate;
The symptoms of acute fatty liver
Acute fatty liver begins suddenly and proceeds rapidly. This is manifested by diarrhea, jaundice and hemorrhagic (bleeding in the form of small blood vessels), rash on the skin. The liver is usually not increased or increased slightly.
The disease can be complicated by hepatic coma, severe renal failure, bleeding.
Acute hepatic steatosis to a pregnant woman - serious diagnosis that requires immediate hospitalization and active treatment. In mild cases, appropriate treatment with proper structure and function of the liver can recover. Sometimes during it becomes chronic.
Symptoms of chronic fatty liver
Chronic steatosis begins unnoticed, for it is characterized by enlargement of the liver, sometimes significantly. At the touch of the liver is smooth and thick. Often there is a general weakness, dull pain in the right upper quadrant, diarrhea, light yellow skin. Sometimes the disease goes unnoticed, disguised manifestations of the underlying disease that caused steatosis (eg, diabetes).
The course of chronic hepatosis relatively favorable, with full restoration of the structure and function of the liver. But chronic steatosis is reversible, if not started restructuring of the liver. The disease may progress to chronic hepatitis
Hepatitis - the scourge of our time
(inflammation), alcohol abuse, after an infection and so on. The end result is often chronic hepatitis cirrhosis (replacement of renal tissue connecting with persistent decline in liver function).