NAFLD, what is that?

Fatty liver disease is a condition that affects obese and overweight people. Fatty liver disease means that you have fat inside your liver, which can affect liver functions and cause liver injury over time.

Fatty liver disease can be divided into two types. Individuals with just fat but no damage to the liver is referred to as Non – Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), whereas individuals with fat in the liver and signs of inflammation and liver cell damage, is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

NAFLD is a silent disease with few or no symptoms at all, however you are at risk of having NAFLD if you are:

a. Obese or overweight individuals. 

b. Have type 2 diabetes. 

c. Have high blood pressure. 

d. Have metabolic syndrome (combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity). 

e. Over the age of 50. 

f. Smoker. 

Symptoms of NAFLD includes: 

a. A dull or aching pain in the top right of the tummy (over the lower right sides of the ribs). 

b. Excessive tiredness. 

c. Unusual weight loss. 

d. Weakness.

Doctors use blood test, imaging test, and liver biopsy to diagnose NAFLD and NASH and to differentiate these two.

NAFLD, on the other hand, usually does not cause any harm in the early stages, but as it progresses, it can cause serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it worsens.

Currently, there is no specific medication that can be used to treat NAFLD, but recommended treatments are usually associated with managing current risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Among lifestyle modifications that are highly suggested for NAFLD are losing weight by consuming a healthy diet, limiting processed, sugary and salty foods, exercise regularly, stop smoking, and cut down on drinking alcohol, though NAFLD is not caused by alcohol consumption but, it is advisable to cut down or stop drinking alcohol to not make it worse.


  1.       National Health Service (NHS). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).,cirrhosis%2C%20if%20it%20gets%20worse. (Retrieved on Nov 2, 2022).
  2.       John Hopkins Medicine. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. (Info retrieved on Nov 2, 2022). 
  3.       National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (Info retrieved on Nov 2, 2022).