Fatty Liver Symptoms Causes, Treatment & Prevention
A fatty liver is an accumulation of fat inside the liver cells. It is also known as nonalcoholic fatty liver or NAFLD. Learn more about its causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects millions of people in the United States. The condition occurs when there is too much fat stored in the liver. This excess fat can cause inflammation that leads to scarring of the liver tissue.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease is a common disorder that affects the liver. It is caused by excessive amounts of fat being deposited in the liver. There are two main types of fatty liver disease: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL), and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFL).
How Does It Affect People?
If left untreated, fatty liver disease can lead to serious complications such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. In addition, people with fatty liver disease often suffer from other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
What Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)?
NAFLD is a condition where there is excessive fat buildup in the liver. This occurs when the body produces too much triglycerides, a type of fat found in foods like meat, dairy products, eggs, and oils. People who consume alcohol at least once per week are considered to have alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Causes Of NAFLD
There are several reasons why people develop NAFLD. One reason is because of obesity. Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30. Another reason is genetics. If one parent has NAFLD, then the child is likely to inherit the same problem. Other reasons include consuming high amounts of fructose, eating large quantities of red meat, and drinking alcohol excessively.
Symptoms Of NAFLD
People with NAFLD usually do not feel any symptoms at first. However, after some time, they start feeling tired, weak, and have difficulty concentrating. They may also have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, jaundice, dark urine, clay colored stools, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.