Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

(NAFLD, Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis [NASH])

Definition

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease involves the build-up of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. It is a common condition. NAFLD may not cause any problems if it is mild. In some cases, it can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver. If this is severe, it can cause liver failure.
The Liver
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

When the liver is unable to break down fats, they build up in liver tissue. Many conditions and diseases make it difficult for the liver to break down fats.

Risk Factors

NAFLD is more common in men and with increasing age. Other factors that increase the chance of NAFLD include:

Symptoms

This disease often causes no symptoms. If fatty build-up is causing the liver not to function well, you may have symptoms. Symptoms may include:
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Muscle weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
NAFLD should be treated as soon as possible. Untreated NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis and increase your risk of other conditions, such as chronic kidney disease.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests may include:
  • Blood tests—to look for raised liver enzymes
  • Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the liver
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the abdomen
  • Liver biopsy —a small piece of your liver is removed and examined

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.

dot separator
previous editions

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations
January 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook