Patient Information Leaflet

Non Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease


What is fatty liver?

This simply means accumulation of excess fat in liver. The liver functions normally. The diagnosis is usually confirmed by an ultrasound of the upper abdomen.

Stages of fatty liver disease?


What is Non Alcohol Steatohepatitis (NASH)?

The term non alcoholic, means cause is not due to alcohol and steatohepatitis means inflammation of the liver.

Causes of fat accumulation in liver:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Drugs

Symptoms:

  • This may be completely asymptomatic or silent condition.
  • In some patients there is fatigue, general feeling of being unwell, right sided upper abdominal discomfort.

Diagnosis:

  • Blood test (AST and ALT usually elevated)
  • Imaging : Usually presence of fat seen on ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
  • Now a days Fibroscan can be used instead of liver biopsy.

Treatment:

  • Control the causes of fat accumulation.
  • Lifestyle modification including diet, regular exercise
  • Attempts to lose weight should be gradual approximately 1.5kg per week as rapid weight loss can be associated with worsening of liver function.
  • Medication as per your doctor’s advice.

Prognosis:

Controlling the etiological factors helps to reverse the condition as long as there is no permanent scarring in the liver. Persistent inflammation can cause scarring and cirrhosis.