Dr. Reshad Kurrimbukus

Non Alcoholic
Fatty liver disease

Non Alcoholic
Fatty liver disease

OVERVIEW

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to a group of conditions caused by an accumulation of fat in the liver. It is most common in people who are overweight or obese.

Early-stage NAFLD is usually harmless, but if it progresses, it can cause serious liver damage, including cirrhosis.
High fat levels in the liver are also linked to an increased risk of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

NAFLD increases your risk of developing heart problems if you already have diabetes.
It is possible to prevent NAFLD from worsening and reduce the amount of fat in your liver if it is detected and managed early.

Stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

NAFLD progresses through four distinct stages. Most people will only ever reach the first stage, often without even realising it.

If not detected and managed, it can progress and eventually cause liver damage in a small number of cases.

The following are the main stages of NAFLD:

  • Simple fatty liver (steatosis) – a largely innocuous accumulation of fat in the liver cells that may only be detected during tests for another reason.
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a more severe form of NAFLD in which the liver has become inflamed; fibrosis – a condition in which persistent inflammation causes scar tissue around the liver and nearby blood vessels, but the liver continues to function normally.
  • Cirrhosis – the most severe stage, which occurs after years of inflammation and causes the liver to shrink, scar, and lump; this damage is permanent and can lead to liver failure (when your liver stops working properly) and liver cancer.
  • Fibrosis and cirrhosis can take years to develop. It is critical to make lifestyle changes to prevent the condition from worsening.

Am I at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

You’re at an increased risk of NAFLD if you:

  • are obese or overweight – particularly if you have a lot of fat around your waist (an “apple-like” body shape)
  • have type 2 diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • have metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity)
  • are over the age of 50
  • smoke


But NAFLD has been diagnosed in people without any of these risk factors, including young children.

Although it’s very similar to alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), NAFLD is not caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Symptoms

In the early stages of NAFLD, there are usually no symptoms. You probably won’t know you have it unless it’s discovered during other tests.

Occasionally, people with NASH or fibrosis (more advanced stages of NAFLD) may experience:

  • a dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right side of the ribs)
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness


If cirrhosis (the most advanced stage) develops, you may experience more severe symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), itchy skin, and swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or tummy (oedema).

My Sub-specialties

Many gastroenterologists develop sub-specialty interests such as:

  • hepatology (diseases of the liver)
  • pancreaticobiliary diseases of the pancreas and biliary system),
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • functional bowel disease
  • tropical diseases
  • gastrointestinal cancer and its prevention
  • endoscopic surveillance
  • upper GI disease (diseases of the oespahagus and stomach)
  • small bowel disease
  • pancreatic disease
  • transplantation
  • medico legal issues in medicine
  • clinical pharmacology
  • inherited cancer syndromes
  • clinical nutrition

My locations

I can offer consultations in several locations across Mauritius. Some of them are:

EDUCATION

DES Medecine Interne
Universite de Poitiers

DFMSA Gastro
Universite Bordeaux

Diplome DCEM
Universite Bordeaux

Diplome Docteur
Universite de Poitiers