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Fatty Liver

Fatty liver is an umbrella term that applies to many different conditions, including alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

AFLD is caused by alcohol-related damage, which makes the liver unable to efficiently process fat cells, so it stores them instead. This condition will typically reverse itself if you stop drinking.

NAFLD is often associated with obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. When liver cells accumulate too much fat, they burst and your body replaces them with fibrosis. NAFLD is often categorized in four stages:

  1. Fatty liver/steatosis: Fat deposits in liver cells.
  2. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): The presence of scar tissue and inflammation of the liver.
  3. Cirrhosis: Almost complete replacement of liver cells with scar tissue.
  4. Liver failure: Liver is no longer able to function and requires a transplant.

Don’t wait for symptoms of late-stage liver disease before seeking treatment.

Late-stage fatty liver disease (cirrhosis) occurs when fibrosis has replaced enough liver cells to inhibit normal function. Serious symptoms are present at this point, including:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Memory loss and/or confusion
  • Pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
  • Shaky hands, or difficulty performing tasks requiring motor skills, such as writing


Ogden Clinic Gastroenterologists have decades of combined experience handling conditions of the liver, pancreas, and biliary system. Although fatty liver disease is common, it's a manageable condition when caught early and with diligent adherence to a treatment plan. Take the first step toward improving your symptoms by contacting Ogden Clinic's GI team.

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