Feeling sluggish, tired and irritable all day? It could be your fatty liver playing tricks on you. Excess accumulation of fat in your liver can cause a range of mental health symptoms from poor memory, poor concentration, disturbed sleep. The liver is responsible for functions such as producing bile for digestion, filtering blood, and breaking down toxins. If this vital organ does not function properly, it can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure. People suffering from fatty liver disease often do not lead an unhealthy lifestyle or engage in alcohol abuse that can lead to mental health concerns. (Also Read: 10 Food Habits That Help Reverse Fatty Liver)
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a public health problem that has become increasingly common over the past few years, affecting one-third of adults in India. It is common in people with diabetes, obesity, and/or high blood pressure. Cholesterol, but can also develop in their absence. As the name suggests, patients with NAFLD have excessive fat deposits in their livers. This can lead to end-stage liver disease or cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. I don’t know,” he says
Dr Rohit Mehtani, Assistant Professor, Department of Hepatology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.
“In addition to the risk of progressive liver disease, patients with NAFLD are more likely to have mental health problems than the general population. These include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, cognitive decline, and poor quality of life. There is an approximately 13% higher rate of suicide in patients with NAFLD. Prevalence of major depressive disorder, including thoughts and efforts to do so. They also have difficulty adhering to treatment recommendations, including diet and exercise, due to negative coping mechanisms of denial and self-blame associated with overall health perceptions. People with NAFLD also suffer from sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea and insomnia. sleep quality. This leads to feelings of tiredness throughout the day, irritable behavior, and an inability to concentrate. They may have poor memory, short attention spans, and difficulty solving problems, which worsen as the severity of liver disease increases,” adds Dr. Mehtani. .
Dr. Consultant Gastroenterology at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad. Shubham Vatsya says that growing evidence suggests a positive link between metabolic syndrome and certain mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and chronic stress.
“The association of fatty liver with mental health disorders has been postulated that mental health problems due to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity and resulting fatty liver disease, substance abuse such as alcohol abuse cause both mental health problems as well as fatty liver, stomach. Dysbiosis that causes fatty liver and mental health problems. Maybe, dysfunction of the hypothalamic pituitary axis which can cause fatty liver and mental health problems together and obesity which can cause multiple problems of mental health and metabolic syndrome. Turn fatty liver around,” says Dr Vatsya.
Dr Chetan Kalal, Program Director, Program Director – Hepatology & Transplant Medicine, Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital shares 5 ways fatty liver affects our mental health.
1. Hormonal imbalance
Fatty liver can disrupt normal liver function, leading to hormonal imbalances. When the liver struggles to regulate hormone levels, it can lead to emotional instability and heightened stress responses. These imbalances can result in mood swings, anxiety and depression, which affect a person’s overall mental health.
2. Cognitive decline
Studies have shown a link between fatty liver and cognitive decline, including memory loss, reduced attention span, and impaired executive function. The liver maintains brain health by compromising levels of various chemicals and nutrients and liver health, negatively impacting cognitive ability and performance.
3. Sleep disturbances
Fatty liver is associated with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia. While a healthy liver helps maintain restorative sleep, poor sleep quality can exacerbate mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as impair cognitive function.
The liver is essential for energy production, and when its function is impaired, it can cause persistent fatigue. People with fatty liver often experience chronic fatigue, which can interfere with daily functioning, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which can manifest as depression or anxiety.
5. Social isolation
The physical symptoms and emotional stress associated with fatty liver can result in social isolation. As a result, individuals may feel disconnected from their support networks, increasing feelings of isolation and worsening existing mental health conditions. Coping with the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding fatty liver can lead to withdrawal from social interactions, further impacting mental health.
“In conclusion, fatty liver can profoundly affect a person’s mental health through a variety of mechanisms, including hormonal imbalances, cognitive decline, sleep disturbances, fatigue and social isolation. It is important for those suffering from fatty liver to seek medical guidance. Adopt lifestyle changes to manage both the physical and psychological aspects of the condition. ,” says Dr Kalal.