What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease is a condition that causes fat to accumulate in your liver (the largest organ in your body). There are two types: alcoholic fatty liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease is related to excessive alcohol use. With continued alcohol use, this condition leads to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is not caused by drinking alcohol. The condition has two forms:
- Simple fatty liver – which doesn't typically cause liver damage
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – which can cause cirrhosis
Doctors don't yet know what causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but you're at an increased risk if you have any of the following conditions:
Fatty liver disease usually has no signs or symptoms, but possible symptoms include:
- Tiredness – Feeling as if you need to rest or sleep more than usual
- Abdominal pain – Discomfort in the right upper abdomen
Treatment depends on the type of fatty liver disease you have and extent of liver damage. Treatment options include:
- Losing weight – If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, weight loss through diet and exercise can decrease the amount of fat in your liver.
- Not drinking alcohol – If you have alcoholic fatty liver disease, you should stop drinking alcohol. You may have more success with this if you seek professional help.
- Medicine – Medicines are available to treat the symptoms and complications of cirrhosis caused by fatty liver disease.
- Liver transplant – Liver transplant surgery is an option when fatty liver disease leads to liver failure.
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If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of fatty liver disease, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.
Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat fatty liver disease.