The long term effects of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are definitely benign ever though they don’t usually manifest themselves in the beginning stages.
The presence of fatty cells in the liver affects most people in different ways, really intense issues arising whenever the fat cells manage to affect the organ and prevent it from working correctly.
This is due to the buildup of toxic waste in the patient’s body.
Of course, the more serious the damage, the less chances that the liver will be able to recover, which sometimes means a transplant is the only solution.
With that being said, according to journal of Nature and Science of Sleep, a known symptom of liver scarring that can severely affect one’s quality of life, is a disturbance of sleep.
Integrative and Functional Medicine Specialist and Chiropractor, Doctor Brian Lun, suggests to pay attention to your sleep patterns in order to try and find out whether or not you’re experiencing sleep disturbances as a result of liver disease.
“Usually, the most common cause of just waking up between 1 AM and 4 AM is a liver problem. It might be that you have fatty liver disease, which is also known as non alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Dr. Lun explained.
The Journal of Thoracic Disease mentions that around 60 to 80 percent of chronic liver disease patients experience sleep disturbances.
The most common ways in which they manifest are less sleep efficiency, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and daytime sleepiness.
Doctor Lun explains that “When your liver gets burdened by accumulated fat, it can no longer effectively detoxify your body. Since toxins can’t be safely removed from the body, the risk of degenerative diseases increases. Fatty liver disease nearly always coincides with insulin resistance as well as type 2 diabetes.”
The belief that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease leads to certain wake up times comes from the so-called Chinese medicine body clock.
“Our circadian rhythm is our ‘internal clock’ and makes sure that all of our organs and biological systems work harmoniously together. It’s during the period between 1 AM and 3 AM that the liver works its hardest to detoxify our body while we sleep. So if your liver is rather slow from an accumulation of fat during the liver’s cleansing time, the body will try to allocate a bit more energy for detoxification, triggering your nervous system to wake up,” Lan shares.
At the same time, however, it should be mentioned that people’s circadian rhythm can change with aging, causing early morning awakenings to be quite a little bit more common in the elderly.
The Sleep Foundation also notes that this age group tends to wake up 3 to 4 times during the night.
At the same time, other causes for such behaviors could be conditions such as anxiety, nocturia and other age related sleep rhythm changes.
At this point in time, there is still very limited research on the role liver disease plays in people waking up between 1 AM and 4 AM every night.
Other studies have even linked it to a number of other lifestyle factors.