Some fat in your liver is normal. But if it makes up more than 5%-10% of the organ's weight, you may have fatty liver disease. These fat deposits may keep your liver from doing a good job of removing toxins from your blood.
Fatty liver disease is sometimes called a silent liver disease. This is because it can happen without causing any symptoms.
If liver damage from this disease leads to permanent scarring and hardening of your liver, this is called cirrhosis.
Causes and increased risk factors for fatty liver disease include:
- Alcohol consumption
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Poor diet and/or malnutrition
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Some medications
- Thyroid disorders
How would you know if you have a fatty liver?
Many people with a fatty liver are unaware that they even have a liver problem, as the symptoms can be vague and non-specific, especially in the early stages.
Symptoms may include:
- Severe tiredness
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Spiderlike blood vessels on the skin
- Long-lasting itching
You should see your doctor to be sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These symptoms are often associated with a number of different diseases.