What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty (steatotic) liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. Fatty liver disease is divided into two types:

What Causes Fatty Liver Disease?

The exact cause of fatty liver disease is not known but it is often associated with the following factors: 

  • Body mass index (BMI) over 27
  • Frequent alcohol use
  • Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels)
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Certain prescription medications, such as amiodarone (Cordarone®), diltiazem (Cardizem®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), or steroids

What Are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease is often referred to as the “silent” liver disease. You might have fat accumulating in your liver but won’t know it. If you do have symptoms, you may feel tired or have discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen.

What Is the Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease?

There’s no specific treatment or medications for fatty liver disease. Instead, your doctor will focus on lifestyle changes that can improve your health. Your provider may recommend that you:

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Lose weight
  • Exercise 
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Manage metabolic conditions (diabetes, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.)
  • Change prescriptions if your medicine is causing fat to accumulate in your liver

Have questions about fatty liver disease?

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Prevention & Treatment

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a procedure where a small piece of the liver is removed so it can be examined with a microscope for signs of damage or disease. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.

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FibroScan® uses a technology called Vibration Controlled Transient Elastography (VCTE™) that assesses liver stiffness by capturing and calculating the speed of a shear wave as it travels through the liver. This detection of stiffness may be used as an aid to clinical management of liver disease.

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An imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body.

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