When you go through a health screening program at an international hospital, an abdominal ultrasound is usually one of the tests included. The ultrasound takes images your abdominal organs to determine their visual health. One condition they are able to detect is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is a liver illness that occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver cells.
The impact of fatty liver disease can be inflammation of the liver which can lead to scarring of the liver tissue, cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure when too much scarring occurs. In the United States, fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver illness which affects as many as 100 million people according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fatty liver disease if more common in people aged 40 to 50 years and can be caused by obesity, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes, and excessive alcohol use. Initially there may be no outward symptoms, but if the disease progresses, then symptoms may include fatigue, an enlarged liver, and pain in the upper right abdomen.
Risk factors include high cholesterol, high levels of tryglycerides in the blood, and obesity. To prevent fatty liver disease it is recommended to eat healthy with a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nut, and legumes. It is also helpful to maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
As mentioned, an abdominal ultrasound can help detect if fatty liver disease is present and if the liver is experiencing any inflammation as a result. Most international hospitals offer the abdominal ultrasound test as part of a health screening program and a yearly screening can help detect the disease at its early stages.