Fatty liver means you have extra fat in your liver. You might hear your doctor call it hepatic steatosis. Heavy drinking makes you more likely to get it. Over time, too much alcohol leads to a buildup of fat inside your liver cells. This makes it harder for your liver to work. But you can get a fatty liver disease even if you don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver
With ALD and NAFLD, there are usually no symptoms. Some people may have signs such as tiredness or pain in the upper right side of the belly where your liver is. If you have NASH or get cirrhosis, you may have symptoms such as:
- Swollen belly
- Enlarged blood vessels underneath your skin
- Larger-than-normal breasts in men
- Red palms
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name implies, the main characteristic of NAFLD is too much fat stored in liver cells.
Causes of Fatty Liver
It develops when your body produces too much fat or doesn’t metabolize fat efficiently enough. The excess fat is stored in liver cells, where it causes disease. This build-up of fat can be caused by a variety of things. In people who don’t drink a lot of alcohol, the cause of the fatty liver disease is less clear.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Choose a healthy plant-based diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and get more exercise. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising.
- Exercise: Doing regular exercises useful to maintain a good healthy weight.