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Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver is the build-up of fat cells in the liver. Fat in the liver usually will cause no damage by itself, but the key is to get to the underlying condition that is causing this fatty build-up. If left untreated, this condition can lead to inflammation of the liver which can cause scarring and hardening of the liver tissues. When scarring becomes extensive, a more serious condition called Cirrhosis may develop.

Although the liver does play a large role in the break down and metabolism of fats, eating fatty foods is not directly the cause of developing fatty liver. This condition seems to be associated with diabetes mellitus, high blood triglycerides, and excessive use of alcohol. It can also occur with certain illnesses like tuberculosis, malnutrition, excessive vitamin A, and use of certain medications.

There are usually no symptoms associated with fatty liver disease that the patient can tell without testing. A rise in certain liver enzymes from blood tests could be an indication, as well as abnormal appearance of the liver on ultrasound exam of the abdomen.

Treatment would require control of the underlying condition. For example; good control of diabetes, avoidance of alcohol, and weight loss.