Essay on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

1782 Words Oct 25th, 2011 8 Pages
For the past few decades there has been a chronic disease plaguing society’s young children. This chronic disease has spread worldwide with the numbers of diseased children is expected to increase in the next decade. This chronic disease is obesity. Along with the rise of obesity among youth, there is a new silent killer linked to childhood obesity. This new chronic disease, typically found in alcoholics, is now becoming prevalent in obese children and is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is defined as a liver disease in people who have not consumed alcohol in significant amounts to cause liver damage, and in whom no other etiology for fatty liver is present (Prashant, 2007, p. 401). Ulrich, an MD at the Birmingham …show more content…
Marion (2004) explains that, “Hepatocellular injury is thought to happen because of oxidative stress which induces lipid peroxidation, and cytokine mediated injury” (p.650). Another factor that is linked to NAFLD is insulin resistance. Prashant (2007) stated, “NAFLD is a result of complex hepatocellular metabolic dysfunction in which insulin action is deranged, leading to deranged metabolism of fat and free fatty acids and subsequent oxidant mediated damage to the hepatocytes” (p.401). Although there is information about the pathogenesis of NAFLD, it is widely accepted among doctors that there is a lot more to learn about this new chronic disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease usually goes undiagnosed among children. Children that have NAFLD are usually asymptomatic, and only complain of nausea and pain in the abdominal region. However, children commonly have a high body mass index (BMI), hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. As of lately, there has been different arguments as to which method of detection is best for NAFLD. A liver biopsy is a widely accepted and reliable method for pediatric doctors to detect this chronic disease. Pranshant (2007) stated, “In a review of 650 liver biopsies of children with chronic liver disease for the presence of NAFLD, micro and macrovasicular fatty change was present in 12% of these biopsies, suggesting fatty liver. Then in 83% of biopsies other etiologies of liver disease could be detected” (p.404).

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