What causes a fatty liver?

Having fats in liver is an uncommon condition, but it may also be a harmless occurrence; however, if fats make up more than 5% to 10% of your liver’s weight then you may be suffering from liver issues. There are two common types of diseases as generally said in the medical industry name alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver diseases.

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Causes of Fatty liver

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

There are over 15 million individuals in United States alone who abuse alcohol. Unfortunately almost 90 to 100 percent individuals develop fatty liver issue. Fatty liver can affect an individual due to long-term use of moderate to large amount of alcohol.  In some cases, it may also occur when a person is been drinking not too long. There are two ways in which genetics of a person may play role in causing the issue. It may determine your possibilities of consuming alcohol and amount of alcohol as well as it may also influence the level of alcohol metabolism by your liver.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver

Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) occurs when your liver is unable to metabolize fats sufficiently.  This causes build-ups of fats in your liver tissues. However, it is not determine yet what may lead to such a condition. The range of possible factors that may cause the condition is so wide and diverse that it is difficult to determine common factors that influence metabolism mechanism of liver against alcohol. Non-alcoholic liver issues associated with fat build-up may be mild to severe and can be benign to fatal as well. Fats in liver is uncommon but may not affect you necessarily. The most common condition of fats in liver is merely high amount of fats accumulated in the liver. In some cases of NAFL, the affected individuals may also experience inflammation of the liver. This may impair functionality of the liver. Inflammation of liver may also lead to scarring and in severe cases liver may stop functioning.


Other possible causes of liver failure include:

  • Side effect of medications
  • Hepatitis
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Inherited liver disease
  • Dramatic reduction in weight
  • Malnutrition

Symptoms of fatty liver

Fatty liver disease is usually insidious condition that may have no symptoms, especially during its initial stages. When the conditions aggravates to an advanced level which usually take years, it may cause vague symptoms.


  • Fatigue
  • Reduced weight or decreased appetite
  • General Weakness
  • Queasiness
  • Confusion
  • Affected judgment
  • Hindered concentration


In some cases the affected individual may also suffer from pain in the center or upper-right region of the stomach. Doctor may also diagnose enlargement of the liver. Patchy or discoloration of skin is also commonly seen at the neck or underarms caused due to fats in liver.


If a person is affected with alcohol associated liver anomalies then the symptoms may be even worse after heavy drinking. With Non-alcoholic liver disease the process of the condition may stop, it may reverse or may also aggravate. Sometime cirrhosis may also develop; in this case the liver may also stop functioning. This may lead to symptoms such as retention of fluid, muscles waste, internal bleeding, failure of liver and jaundice.


Diagnosis of fatty liver

Usually the diagnosis of the condition is done while analyzing other condition, symptoms or during routine checkup. Your doctor may determine that the size of your liver is slightly larger than usual or signs of fat in liver are noticed during blood tests. Usually confirmation of fats in liver is done through several tests which are:


Blood tests: Elevation of certain enzymes in the liver is detected through blood test. These enzymes that indicate fatty liver includes ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) and AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase).

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Imaging tests: There are several types of imaging tests that can help in identifying presence of fats in liver, for example ultrasound tests etc.

Liver Biopsy: The only way to confirmedly determine underlying presence of fatty liver is by undergoing a liver biopsy. This test is suggested when other possible causes of the irregularity are ruled out. This test is performed by retrieving a piece of liver from the patient by penetrating a tiny needle through the skin. The retrieved sample is evaluated under microscope. The procedure is performed after applying anesthesia.


Treatment for Fatty Liver

In the present day medical industry there is no specific treatment developed for fatty liver. In case if you consume excessive amount of alcohol and it is determined that you are suffering from alcoholic fatty liver then ceasing use of alcohol is the first thing that you need to do. You can find support to quit alcohol usage. Along with quitting alcohol one should use medicines that are suggested by the doctor. If you do not quit alcohol then the condition may aggravate to become serious. It is also studied that shedding away weight can help in reducing non alcoholic fatty liver disease. Usually medicines suggested by doctor and healthy lifestyle changes can help in dealing with the condition. However, in serious cases surgery may be the final option.


Fatty liver pictures

obesity is a major cause for fatty liver.


fatty liver pictures

Obesity is a major cause for fatty liver

fatty liver cells

fatty liver vs healthy liver pictures

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