Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

What Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

The liver plays a key role in processing nutrients in your diet and removing harmful substances from the body. When excess fat collects in the liver, whether through increased dietary fat intake or from changes in your body’s ability to digest fats, it can lead to this disease.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a liver condition in both adults and children where excess fat accumulates around the liver. The disease is the most common liver disease in developed countries. As its name indicates, the disease is not due to alcohol use, but is often associated with metabolic syndromes such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity

Chronic nonalcoholic fatter liver disease can produce mild symptoms or cause serious symptoms from scarring (fibrosis). When severe, the condition can lead to cirrhosis and possible liver cancer.


You may not experience symptoms at the early stages of the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. However, you may feel discomfort in your abdominal area due to the liver becoming enlarged during early stages of the disease.
Once the disease has progressed to an end-stage of cirrhosis, or if liver cancer has developed, you will experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice or yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Weight loss