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Dr. John Hsiang, Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist
Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. It is a common condition in Singapore, affecting about 1 in 4 adults.
Fatty liver disease often does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. However, as the disease progresses, people may experience:
There are two main types of fatty liver disease:
The liver plays an important role in breaking down fats and other nutrients from the food we eat.
When we eat more calories than we need, the excess is stored as fat in the liver. Over time, this can lead to fatty liver disease.
If left untreated, fatty liver disease can lead to serious complications, including:
Treatment focuses on addressing the underlying causes of the disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet are also important in managing fatty liver disease.
Most important lifestyle changes includes avoidance of fructose consumption, regular moderate intensity cardio-exercises at least 140 minutes per week, whilst achieving heart rate >120-140 per minutes. Increase intake of polypunsaturated fatty acid and caffeine can improve liver inflammation as well.
In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help control the disease and prevent complications. Medications such as vitamin E and GLP-1 agonist may be used to treat NAFLD.
Improvement in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can be see when the patient loses 7-10% of body weight.
In patients with mild alcoholic liver disease, cutting down alcohol to a weekly amount below 14 units is recommended. Sometimes, total abstinence from alcohol is recommended in those with severe alcoholic liver disease.
MBChB (NZ), FRACP (Australasia), MD (Doctorate), FRCP (Edinburgh), FAMS (Gastro)
Dr. John Hsiang is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience in public and private practice.
Dr. John’s special clinical interests are gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach conditions, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal cancer screening
Dr. John has spent more than five years in the Singhealth cluster serving in the Gastroenterology Department at Changi General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.
Indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, helicobacter pylori infection, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, hepatitis B, fatty liver disease, management of abnormal liver tests.
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Dr. John Hsiang is an Accredited Specialist Across All Private Hospitals in Singapore.