Fatty Liver Can Be Reversible, Stop It Getting Worse.
Reverse Fatty Liver Disease Without Medications.
Simple Cheat-sheet Anyone Can Follow. Reduce Medications and Transform Your Health.
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Dr. Nikhil Patel M.D.
Physician Internal Medicine
This quick cheatsheet is for anyone who wants to take the steps to improve/reverse fatty liver disease.
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Dr. Nikhil Patel M.D.
Physician Internal Medicine
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. Doctors do not know what causes NAFLD.

They do know that NAFLD happens more often in some people, such as those who:

  • Are overweight
  • Have diabetes, which causes blood sugar levels to get too high
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Take certain medicines
To be diagnosed with NAFLD, a person must not have a history of heavy alcohol use or another problem that might be causing the liver condition (such as hepatitis C).

Early-stage NAFLD does not usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse.

Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

If you already have diabetes, NAFLD increases your chance of developing heart problems.

If detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop NAFLD getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

There are 4 Stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)


Most people will only ever develop the first stage, usually without realizing it.

In a small number of cases, it can progress and eventually lead to liver damage if not detected and managed.

The main stages of NAFLD are:
  1. Simple fatty liver (steatosis) – a largely harmless build-up of fat in the liver cells that may only be diagnosed during tests carried out for another reason
  2. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a more serious form of NAFLD, where the liver has become inflamed
  3. Fibrosis – where persistent inflammation causes scar tissue around the liver and nearby blood vessels, but the liver is still able to function normally
  4. Cirrhosis – the most severe stage, occurring after years of inflammation, where the liver shrinks and becomes scarred and lumpy; this damage is permanent and can lead to liver failure (where your liver stops working properly) and liver cancer
    It can take years for fibrosis or cirrhosis to develop. It’s important to make lifestyle changes to prevent the condition getting worse
You’re at an increased risk of NAFLD if you:
  • are obese or overweight – particularly if you have a lot of fat around your waist (an “apple-like” body shape)
  • have type 2 diabetes
  • have a condition that affects how your body uses insulin 
  • are insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
  • have an underactive thyroid
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • have metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity)
  • are over the age of 50
  • smoke

    But NAFLD has been diagnosed in people without any of these risk factors, including young children.

Although it’s very similar to alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD), NAFLD is not caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)


There are not usually any symptoms of NAFLD in the early stages. You probably will not know you have it unless it’s diagnosed during tests carried out for another reason.

Occasionally, people with NASH or fibrosis (more advanced stages of NAFLD) may experience:

  • a dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right side of the ribs)
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness
  • If cirrhosis (the most advanced stage) develops, you can get more severe symptoms, such as yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice), itchy skin, and swelling in the legs, ankles, feet or tummy (oedema).
How non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is diagnosed

NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.

But blood tests do not always pick up NAFLD.

The condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy.

This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body.

If you’re diagnosed with NAFLD, further tests may be needed to determine which stage you have. This may involve a special blood test or having another type of ultrasound scan (Fibroscan).

Some people may also need a biopsy, where a small sample of liver tissue is taken using a needle so it can be analyzed in a laboratory.

Children and young people with an increased risk of NAFLD (those with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome) should have an ultrasound scan of their liver every 3 years.

Other tests you may have include a CT scan or MRI scan.


Treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)


Most people with NAFLD will not develop any serious problems, but if you’re diagnosed with the condition it’s a good idea to take steps to stop it getting any worse. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the main way of managing NAFLD. There is evidence showing Fatty Liver Disease is reversible.

Treatment also may be recommended for associated conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol) or complications.

You may be advised to have regular appointments with your doctor to check your liver function and look for signs of any new problems.


There’s not currently any medicine that can treat NAFLD, but various medicines can be useful in managing the problems associated with the condition. For example, your doctor may recommend medicine to treat high blood pressure, treat high cholesterol, treat type 2 diabetes and treat obesity.

Liver transplant

If you develop severe cirrhosis and your liver stops working properly, you may need to be put on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Or it may be possible to have a transplant using a section of liver removed from a living donor.

This information is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between any of the physicians affiliated with this content and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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