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Liver Disease? But I don’t even drink! – an NIHR blog post by MoveLab’s Dr Kate Hallsworth

MoveLab’s Dr Kate Hallsworth was recently invited to write a blog post about her work on lifestyle change for NAFLD patients, which has now been posted on the NIHR’s national website. Here’s a preview of her post and a link to read the blog in full:

Liver Disease? But I don’t even drink!

‘A diagnosis of liver disease can come as a shock to non-drinkers – but the power to manage the condition is in your own hands (and feet!)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a relatively new disease. Largely lifestyle related, NAFLD is not linked to excess alcohol consumption – which is often perceived to be the cause of most liver problems. NAFLD represents a spectrum of liver conditions, ranging from fatty liver through to cirrhosis and liver cancer. It has been estimated that NAFLD affects up to one in three adults in the UK, and research has shown that it is closely linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The rising prevalence of these conditions, particularly in younger people, will mean that NAFLD remains a growing clinical concern for the future.

To understand what happens to patients with NAFLD, we first need to understand how our bodies manage fat. Normally your fat is stored under the skin, but if this fat store becomes full then fat can start to build up in and around your organs – such as the liver. An accumulation of excess liver fat is the first stage in the development of NAFLD. Currently there are no drugs approved for the treatment of NAFLD, and so the best route to slowing the disease’s progression is reducing the amount of fat through weight loss. This can be achieved through changes in diet and increasing levels of physical activity and exercise…’

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Read the rest of Kate’s post at the NIHR Blogs page