Fatty Liver (Hepatic Steatosis) Symptoms & Signs

Fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis is a medical condition wherein extra fat surrounds the liver. There are two types of hepatic steatosis – non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcohol-related fatty liver disease (AFLD). Experts also categorize NAFLD into simple fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Meanwhile, AFLD can cause an enlarged liver, alcoholic hepatitis, or alcoholic cirrhosis. 

Research states that heavy drinking, defined as having three or more glasses of alcoholic beverages per day, can be among the primary causes of alcohol-related fatty liver disease. However, even if a person doesn’t drink, they can still develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, especially if they have diabetes or carry too much weight. Doctors also point out that having a metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or hypertriglyceridemia, can increase the risk of developing fatty liver disease. 

Although early-stage NAFLD isn’t considered dangerous, it can lead to severe conditions such as liver cirrhosis, kidney problems, hypertension, and diabetes complications. Typically, fatty liver disease doesn’t manifest many symptoms, but doctors can use ultrasound or CT scans to get a picture of the liver. 

Here are some of the symptoms of fatty liver disease.