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Fatty Liver

Fatty Liver: Overview, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and More | Singapore General Hospital

Fatty Liver - What it is

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a common chronic liver disease when excess fat is deposited in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. It can range from “good fat” or simple fat to “bad fat” or Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Fatty Liver - Symptoms

NAFLD usually does not cause symptoms. If symptoms are present, it may be non-specific type symptoms of tiredness, nausea and discomfort over the right upper abdomen. However, if NAFLD progress to cirrhosis, signs and symptoms of cirrhosis may appear.

Fatty Liver - How to prevent?

Fatty Liver - Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of Fatty Liver Disease

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity (BMI>25 kg/m2 in Asian people)
  • Increased belly fat (Central obesity) »» waistline >90cm in Asian men or >80cm Asian women
  • Cholesterol problems
  • Hypertension 
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Other associated conditions like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism), Underactive Pituitary (Hypopituitary)

Fatty Liver - Diagnosis

NAFLD is diagnosed by a combination of history, physical examination, blood tests and imaging studies of the liver.

  • Liver function tests such as liver enzymes (ALT, AST) may be elevated
  • Ultrasound, CT or MRI scan may show fatty liver
  • Other blood tests may be needed to predict severity of disease or exclude other liver diseases
  • Liver biopsy may be required to stage the disease

Fatty Liver - Treatments

Treatments may include:

Lifestyle modifications

  • Weight loss
  • Diet
  • Exercise

Treatment of associated factors

  • Control of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cholesterol
  • Medications

Fatty Liver - Preparing for surgery

Fatty Liver - Post-surgery care

Fatty Liver - Other Information

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