Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which an excessive amount of fat accumulates within the liver of someone who does not consume a significant amount of alcohol.
NAFLD affects approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population. It has been associated with various conditions, some of which include:
Most people with NAFLD experience no symptoms in its early stages. It is usually discovered because of an abnormal liver function test or during testing for an unrelated medical condition.
However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:
Some studies have shown the prevalence of NAFLD:
If left untreated, NAFLD may lead to swelling and scarring (cirrhosis) in the liver. Over time, it may even lead to liver cancer or liver failure.
There are no medical treatments yet for NAFLD. Instead, treatment focuses on addressing the risk factors, like making lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes that can help slow the progression of NAFLD include:
To learn more about NAFLD, or to schedule an appointment at the UPMC Center for Liver Diseases, call 412-647-1170.