Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases

The term "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease" (NAFLD) or "metabolic (dysfunction) associated fatty liver disease" (MAFLD) refers to an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver that has no other obvious cause, such as alcohol consumption. There are 2 types: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which also causes liver inflammation, and non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL). Non-alcoholic fatty liver usually does not proceed to NASH and is less harmful than NASH. When NAFL eventually transforms into NASH, it may also bring on side effects like cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, or cardiovascular disease.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are strong risk factors for NAFLD. Other risks include being overweight, metabolic syndrome (defined as at least three of the five following medical conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high serum triglycerides, and low serum HDL cholesterol), a diet high in fructose, and older age. NAFLD and alcoholic liver disease are types of fatty liver disease. Obtaining a sample of the liver after excluding other potential causes of fatty liver can confirm the diagnosis.


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