Fatty Liver




    What is Fatty Liver?

    Fatty liver disease is caused due to accumulation of extra fat in the liver. Excess intake of alcohol is common cause of fatty liver. Fatty liver also occurs to patient who donot drink or drink very little alcohol, this type of fatty liver is called non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    Who is most likely to have Fatty liver disease?

    Fatty liver (non-alcoholic) is developed in people who are over weight, have diabetes, high cholesterol and high triglycerides. A diet rich in fats with poor eating habits can cause fatty liver. Some people develop fatty liver without any risk factors.

    What are the risks linked to fatty liver?

    Fatty liver may cause inflammation or swelling of liver. This inflammation or swelling progresses to liver cirrhosis over a period of time and may lead to liver cancer or liver failure in patients. Most patients are in the age group of 40 years to 60 years who are diagnosed with fatty liver and inflammation. Fatty liver may not show symptoms and patients may feel healthy even though the liver is getting damaged.

    What are the stages of fatty liver?

    Fatty liver has 4 stages which are as follows:

    1. Simple Fatty Liver (Steatosis)
    2. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) – Fatty Liver with Inflammation
    3. Fibrosis
    4. Liver Cirrhosis (Fatty liver with liver hardening and liver scarring)

    Most patients with Fatty liver do not progress to sever liver damage. However around 10% of patients with high risk factors may lead to inflammation and liver cirrhosis. One the cirrhosis is developed there is high risk of liver cancer, liver failure and death.

    What are the symptoms of fatty liver?

    Fatty liver usually shows no symptoms but when symptoms occurs they are as follows:

    • Fatigue
    • Weakness
    • Weight Loss
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Jaundice
    • Itching
    • Edema
    • Ascites
    • Mental Confusion

    Most of these symptoms occur when fatty liver has already lead to liver cirrhosis.

    What is the diagnosis of Fatty liver?

    It is important to diagnosis fatty liver early with no symptoms. The diagnosis can be as followed:

    1. Liver function test – usually shows elevated liver enzymes
    2. Ultrasound – Scan Shows fatty liver

    Several other blood test and a liver biopsy may be required to make sure that there are no other reasons for abnormal liver tests.

    What other diseases are associated with Fatty Liver?

    People with Fatty liver disease are on high risk of developing the following:

    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • High triglycerides
    • Heart disease

    It is advisable for patients with fatty liver to regularly undergo body check up to detect and treat any of the above associated diseases.

    What should one do If diagnosed with Fatty Liver?


    If one is diagnosed with fatty liver disease they should follow the following routine:

    • If overweight lose weight
    • 30 minutes of exercise everyday
    • Reduce the consumption of fats in diet
    • Avoid carbohydrate rich diet
    • Antioxidant rich diet
    • Avoid carbonated drink
    • Avoid excess fruit juices with fructose
    • Perform regular health checkup for
      • Liver enzymes
      • Blood sugar
      • Cholesterol
    • If diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension treat it effectively
    • Stop alcohol consumption completely
    • Consult doctor to know the type of fatty liver you having
      • Simple Fatty liver
      • Fatty liver with inflammation and cirrhosis