NAFLD is the most widespread hepatic condition in the United States. Characterized by fat comprising more than five percent of the liver, NAFLD can develop into a more serious disease.
People with fatty liver disease suffer from abdominal pain near the stomach, heavy perspiration, fatigue, and jaundice. Their urine and feces also have unnatural colors.
Patients with mild NAFLD, on the other hand, may not experience any of these symptoms. Instead, they may only have increased levels of liver enzymes.
But there also times when NAFLD evades standard blood tests. An ultrasound diagnosis of the liver is the best way to detect the presence of the disorder.
As its name implies, NAFLD does not come from heavy drinking; it is caused by eating foods with too much calories.
Obesity, excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and eating lots of processed foods and refined sugar all contribute to the onset of NAFLD. At least one in every five cases of NAFLD is bound to progress into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, organ failure, and death. (Related: Limiting dietary sugars can help reduce fatty liver in adolescents with NAFLD, say researchers.)
A common liver condition increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
Earlier studies have found a connection between fatty liver disease and heart disease: Patients with NAFLD are highly likely to develop coronary artery disease as well.