What causes fatty liver?
Conditions that are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are obesity, diabetes, elevated blood lipids (high cholesterol and triglycerides), and high blood pressure. The reasons why this condition may progress to the more serious form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are not fully understood, but certain biochemical abnormalities have been identified that may be related to this transition.
Causes of fatty liver
- Elevated blood lipid levels
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Metabolic syndrome (diabetes or prediabetes with insulin resistance, elevated lipids, and high blood pressure)
Questions for diagnosing the cause of fatty liver
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your fatty liver including:
- How long have you had these particular symptoms?
- Have you had any abdominal swelling, distention or bloating? Any pain?
- Have you had a fever or chills?
- Have you seen changes in your skin? A change in color? New blood vessels? Any itching?
- Have you had any other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
What are the potential complications of fatty liver?
Because fatty liver can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver that causes severe dysfunction)
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/liver/907.html. . Accessed May 9, 2011.
What is fatty liver?
Although alcohol use is commonly associated with fat accumulation in the liver, fatty liver disease refers to the accumulation of excess fat in the liver, specifically in the absence of excess alcohol consumption. The liver is an organ in the digestive system that assists the digestive process and carries out many other essential functions. These functions include producing bile to help br... Read more about fatty liver introduction
What other symptoms might occur with fatty liver?
Fatty liver may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.... Read more about fatty liver symptoms