Fatty liver disease is an excess of fat accumulated in the liver. Fatty liver is defined by underlying causes such as alcohol consumption (which can lead to alcoholic fatty liver) and obesity (which can lead to NASH/NAFLD).
Because fatty liver can cause inflammation in the liver, it creates the potential for the development of a more serious condition. Fatty liver is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S.
Fatty liver does not have a clearly defined cause, although alcoholism, diabetes, hypercholestremia, and obesity are among the contributing risk factors. Knowing about a patient's alcohol consumption and lifestyle choices aids a physician in assessing the cause of fatty liver. Alcoholic fatty liver and NASH/NAFLD are types of fatty liver disease.
Often fatty liver is asymptomatic. As fatty liver progresses, it may cause vague symptoms such as:
The treatment of fatty liver disease depend on the root cause of the disease. Individual lifestyle choices and underlying conditions are considered in the treatment process of fatty liver.
For more information about nutrition and diet, please visit our Healthy Liver Diet page.
The incidence of fatty liver disease is very high in the U.S. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans have fatty liver disease.