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NAFLD is Here and is Now a Canadian Epidemic

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TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Silent, possibly deadly, ever increasing and unknowingly present in over 10 million Canadians, is the liver disease known as NAFLD, now a Canadian epidemic.

NAFLD, (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) is the accumulation of fat in the liver. Risk factors include very common diseases and conditions such as type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and sleep apnea. If left undiagnosed and untreated, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, and the need for a liver transplant and death.

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The Fatty Liver Alliance, a Canadian registered charity, encourages those at risk to ask their Primary Care Physicians at their next visit, to be assessed for fatty liver disease. This involves simple blood tests that may not be part of the usual panel of tests. Although a 7-10% weight loss through a more controlled diet, and increased exercise may eliminate or improve NAFLD, for some, it may not be enough.

If results indicate that a patient is at risk of developing advanced liver disease, further non-invasive tests would be the next step. Ultrasound, Fibroscan, a special panel of blood bio-markers, or possibly an MRI are all examples of non-invasive testing. If these tests continue to show a high likelihood of advanced liver disease, including a high fibrosis (liver scarring) score, a biopsy may be required.

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Reversing, and even preventing fatty liver disease is possible. 

Medical experts know that fatty liver disease is one of the most widespread, and undiagnosed, health conditions in this country, and cases are increasing at an alarming rate. “NAFLD related deaths are projected to double in the next 10 years. There are actions we can take to address this…habits we can change now,” said Dr. Mark Swain, Hepatologist at the University of Calgary, Alberta.

“Reversing, and even preventing fatty liver disease is possible. Speak with your Physician today about your risks, get assessed, and avoid cirrhosis, liver transplants and liver cancer,” said Michael Betel, President and Founder of the Fatty Liver Alliance. 

Dr. Supriya Joshi, Hepatologist, Mississauga, Ontario says: “Public awareness, Physician awareness and education will help the global community.” “Early intervention can prevent this disease.”

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Dr. Giada Sebastiani, Hepatologist, did a research study in 2021 in The Canadian Liver Journal, which included feedback from over 200 Physicians and Nurses in Canada, and found “that a significant proportion of Canadian physicians and nurses managing patients with NAFLD are not very familiar with the disease. This study emphasizes the need for further provider education, national practice guidelines, and improved treatment options.”

To that end, the Fatty Liver Alliance in collaboration with CanNASH (the Canadian NASH Network) are hosting a very special online, educational evening event from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm eastern, on December 1, 2022. Attendees and interested sponsors can register for the First Annual NAFLD and NASH Primary Care Summit at: https://pheedloop.com/EVEKNOEKYAXNK/site/home/.

About Fatty Liver Alliance
Fatty Liver Alliance is a trusted registered charity that raises awareness and educates Canadians about the risks, causes and complications of fatty liver disease and by advocating for access to approved treatments and care for those who already have NAFLD and NASH.

For further information about NAFLD and NASH or to donate:
https://www.fattyliver.ca 

SOURCE Fatty Liver Alliance
PRESS CONTACT: Michael Betel, (647) 326-3548 or [email protected]

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