Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. Obesity is the most common cause of the disease. Risk factors include having high blood-fat levels, either triglycerides or LDL ("bad") cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. This disease is common, and symptoms such as fatigue, upper-right abdominal pain, and weight loss may arise sometimes due to NAFLD.

Some people with NAFLD have fat that accumulates and causes scarring and inflammation in the liver. This type of NAFLD sometimes is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Cirrhosis related to NAFLD can occur, and NAFLD also can lead to liver failure. Losing weight, lowering bad cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, controlling diabetes, avoiding alcohol use, and limiting over-the-counter drugs through lifestyle changes or medications are recommended as a treatment for NAFLD.