Fat in your liver is a normal thing. However, too much can cause serious health issues for you. The liver is a meaty organ on the right side of your belly, weighing about 3 pounds and has a reddish-brown color. Your liver filters blood coming from the digestive tract before distributing it to the rest of your body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs and makes proteins for bodily functions, such as blood clotting and transporting important nutrients throughout the body. It also plays an important role in controlling the amount of blood sugar in your body. Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis) is an accumulation of fat in the liver. This disease is broken down into two categories: alcohol-related fatty liver disease (AFLD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Dr. Crystal Moore, board certified Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, is a specialist in anatomic and clinical pathology. She provides BlackDoctor.org her top 7 risk factors for fatty liver disease.
Heavy drinking or alcoholism contribute to fatty livers. According to the American Liver Foundation, alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) results from fat deposits in the liver cells. The symptoms are so mild they go undetected. Symptoms can include fatigue, weakness and discomfort in the right upper abdomen. This disease can be reversed by abstaining from alcohol.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is linked to obesity. NAFLD is the most common liver disease. NAFLD is “considered a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors like high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat and unhealthy cholesterol levels that raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other health problems” according to the Radiological Society of America. NAFLD increases the risk of developing cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and stroke. Dr. Moore says this disease can be prevented by weight loss, decreasing caloric intake and increasing physical activity. .