The fatty liver is an entity of which every time pediatricians talk more. It is defined as the presence of a greater amount of fat than usual in that important organ that is the liver, authentic metabolic manager of the human body. But what causes the children's liver to suddenly have more fat than
The fatty liver is an entity of which every time pediatricians talk more. It is defined as the presence of a greater amount of fat than usual in that important organ that is the liver, authentic metabolic manager of the human body.
But what causes the children's liver to suddenly have more fat than usual? Can it be prevented?
We tell you the causes and how to prevent fatty liver in children.
Causes of fatty liver in children
The cause mainly involved in the appearance of fatty liver in adults is the consumption of alcohol; on the contrary, in children, its most frequent origin is the overweight-obesity complex. Given that the prevalence of overweight-obesity in the western world is 25-30%, fatty liver is the main chronic liver disease infant worldwide.
This disease is a real trap, because it does not have any symptoms in its early stages, but it can lead to serious illnesses. Imagine this disease as a ladder: the first step is called steatosis; the second, since it involves inflammation of the liver, we call it steatohepatitis; the third one supposes the presence of a stable damage in the liver, the death of part of its cells and the substitution by a useless fibrous tissue (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis can, in turn, lead to liver cancer. I do not pretend to alarm with the exposition of this evolutionary drift, but to point out that the first step of the ladder (simple steatosis) is reversible, and that we must take this pathology very seriously.
How to diagnose fatty liver during childhood and how to prevent it
The diagnosis of fatty liver can be made through an abdominal ultrasound . We must suspect the presence of inflammation through an elevation of transaminases, verified in a simple biochemical analysis of the blood. If this elevation is confirmed, we must perform a liver biopsy or abdominal resonance with elastography.The most important pillar to tackle fatty liver is to stop it in the early stages. How to do it? Very easy. With healthy lifestyles, such as aerobic physical exercise performed regularly and reducing the consumption of
carbohydrates simple absorption. Contrary to what one might think, it is better to opt for this food measure than for the reduction of fat consumption. On the other hand, there is speculation about the therapeutic role of vitamin E and some oral antidiabetic drug, such as metformin, but its use protocols have not yet been fully established.