What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease, also known as steatosis, is a condition where excess fat builds up in your liver. The liver is a vital organ responsible for filtering blood, producing proteins, and regulating chemicals in the body. When overloaded with fat, the liver’s function can become impaired.

There are two main types of fatty liver disease

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): This is the most common type, affecting up to one-quarter of the population. It’s not caused by alcohol consumption.
  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD): This is caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease often progresses with no noticeable symptoms. In some cases, people may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms can also be indicative of other underlying conditions. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s crucial to consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis.

How is Fatty Liver Disease Diagnosed?

Medical Gastroenterology plays a key role in diagnosing fatty liver disease. A gastroenterologist is a doctor specializing in the digestive system, including the liver. Diagnosis may involve:

  • Blood tests: Blood tests can assess liver function and detect abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan can create a picture of the liver and measure fat accumulation.
  • Liver biopsy: In some cases, a small tissue sample from the liver is extracted and examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Fatty Liver Disease

There is no specific medication for fatty liver disease. However, a medical gastroenterologist can recommend lifestyle changes to manage the condition and prevent progression. These may include:

  • Weight loss: Losing even a modest amount of weight can significantly improve liver health.
  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help with weight management and improve overall health.
  • Medications: Medications may be prescribed to address underlying conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol that can contribute to fatty liver disease.

Does Fatty Liver Disease Change Life Expectancy?

In most cases, fatty liver disease itself doesn’t affect life expectancy. However, if left untreated, it can progress to more serious conditions like cirrhosis (severe scarring of the liver) and liver failure. These complications can significantly impact life expectancy.


Fatty liver disease is a prevalent condition. Early detection and intervention are crucial to prevent complications. If you’re concerned about fatty liver disease, consult a Supreme Hospital gastroenterologist for diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan. Remember, early diagnosis and lifestyle modifications can significantly improve your liver health and overall well-being.

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