How do liver and gallbladder dysfunction manifest in children with obesity?

Updated: Dec 01, 2020
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Evidence of liver dysfunction, with elevated plasma concentrations of transaminases, is observed in 20% of children with obesity; the liver dysfunction most commonly reflects hepatic steatosis, but cirrhosis may develop in rare instances. Vitamin E supplements may be effective in reversing this so-called steatohepatitis, suggesting that the disorder reflects a relative state of vitamin E deficiency. [23] Cholelithiasis is more common in adults with obesity than in adults with normal weight. Although gallstones are unusual in childhood, nearly one half of all cases of cholecystitis in adolescents are associated with obesity. Cholecystitis may be even more common during rapid weight loss, particularly with very controlled–energy diets.

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