APR 16, 2016 2:33 PM PDT

What is Fatty Liver Disease?

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

Fatty liver disease is a condition in which excess fat in the liver makes up over 5 to 10 percent of the liver's weight. The disease is common among middle-aged Americans and is becoming more widespread due to the worsening obesity epidemic. Heavy drinking and alcoholism are the most common causes of fatty liver disease. Obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol are the three most common causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In the early stages of the disease, most patients don't experience symptoms and the condition is still reversible. Many patients never feel symptoms of their disease. However, if they continue to have excess fat in the liver, they can experience chronic inflammation of the liver and complete scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). In some cases, the disease causes liver failure, liver cancer, and the need for liver transplantation.

There is no cure for fatty liver disease, but it can be managed by avoiding alcohol and sugar, losing weight, and watching your cholesterol. Doctors recommend consuming lean meat, eating more vegetables, and avoiding foods that are high in refined sugar, such as bread, rice, and potatoes.

Recent studies have suggested drinking two or three cups of coffee a day help prevent liver cancer and failure in patients who are already diagnosed with the disease.
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
NOV 12, 2020
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
On August 4, a megascale explosion almost leveled half of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. At the center of the negl ...
DEC 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
DEC 28, 2020
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
China has recovered the first new moon rock samples in decades, and from a previously unexplored part of the moon. Now w ...
JAN 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Discover Planet with 3 Suns
JAN 17, 2021
Astronomers Discover Planet with 3 Suns
Having just one star in our solar system makes us an outlier in our galaxy. However, while most solar systems in the Mil ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
MAR 26, 2021
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
The ability to communicate with one another to coordinate behaviors contributes to the success of social mammals, like b ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
MAY 29, 2021
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
In two separate studies, researchers led by those at the University of Copenhagen and Queen Mary University of London fo ...
JUL 23, 2021
Neuroscience
Does the Rise of Neurotech Spell the End of Humanity as We Know it?
JUL 23, 2021
Does the Rise of Neurotech Spell the End of Humanity as We Know it?
Researchers from Imperial College London have written an overview of currently available commercial brain-computer inter ...
Loading Comments...