Fatty liver disease, as the name suggests, is characterised by an accumulation of fat in the liver. There are two primary causes of this fatty build-up – alcoholic and non-alcoholic (NAFLD). The latter is linked to unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as obesity and high blood sugar levels. The condition is known to cause a hormonal imbalance increasing the risk of gynecomastia causing enlarged breasts in men.
A damaged liver may fail to regulate the production and breakdown of hormones.
In males, this can lead to enlarged breasts and shrunken testicles, while women may find their menstrual cycle is affected.
If the liver is not functioning optimally then it may not be able to properly remove oestrogen at its normal rate.
The result means oestrogen is poorly metabolised and can get reabsorbed in the body leading to a hormonal imbalance.
Gynaecomastia can be caused by an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen, said the NHS.
The health body continued: “Oestrogen causes breast tissue to grow.
“While all men produce some oestrogen, they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which stops the oestrogen from causing breast tissue to grow.
“If the balance of hormones in the body changes, this can cause a man’s breasts to grow. Sometimes, the cause of this imbalance is unknown.”
According to GI Doctors, the “first line” treatment for fatty liver disease is weight loss combined with regular exercise and healthy eating.
That’s because many of the risk factors that underpin NAFLD are tied to obesity and poor dietary decisions.
Having combined health problems promotes deposit of fat into the liver.
For some people, this excess fat acts as a toxin to liver cells, causing liver inflammation and NASH, which may lead to a build-up of scar tissue in the liver.
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