Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the U.S., affecting an estimated 80 – 100 million people.
NAFLD appears in people who drink little to no alcohol. The main characteristic is too much fat stored in the liver. When this occurs, the liver can become inflamed, which can progress to scarring and irreversible liver damage. Much like a person who drinks heavily, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis and, ultimately, liver failure.
NAFLD doesn’t typically have any symptoms and is usually discovered when tests conducted for other reasons point to a liver problem. Diagnosis can happen through blood testing, imaging, or a liver biopsy.
The exact cause of NAFLD isn’t really known, although it’s typically linked to:
NAFLD is also more likely to appear in people in their 40s and 50s, as well as people with diabetes, and/or people with their body fat concentrated in the abdomen.
In treating NAFLD, Dr. Abousaif concentrates on managing the patient’s medical condition, while instituting lifestyle modifications that include choosing a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.