Combatting Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba Medical Center has established a multi-disciplinary clinic for the treatment of pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The Cause of Fatty Liver
Children and adults with this disease are more prone to developing liver cirrhosis and other hepatic issues, and fatty liver is the most frequent reason for liver transplants in developed nations. This all ties in with the obesity epidemic in modernized countries.
Obesity is the most common cause of fatty liver in both children and adults, in addition to being responsible for other comorbid conditions like abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Left untreated, fatty liver can lead to liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.
There are typically few apparent signs of the disease in its early stages and diagnosis is usually made by ultrasound. Only in later stages do elevated liver enzymes in the blood and jaundice appear.
A Holistic Response
Directed by Dr. Avishay Lahad, senior physician in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, and Dr. Kineret Mazor-Aronovitch, senior physician in the Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, the Pediatric Fatty Liver Clinic at Safra Children’s Hospital will tackle this problem in a variety of ways. These include psychosocial support, diet and nutrition guidance, lifestyle changes, and medications. In continuing Sheba’s tradition of excellence in medical research, clinical trials will also be conducted at the clinic.