Why fatty liver disease matters

It’s important to know if you have too much fat in your liver.

A healthy liver should only have a small amount of fat. Too much fat in your liver may harm your liver and is associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and shortened life span. Talk to your doctor about testing your liver for NASH.

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LIVER FACT

Fatty liver disease is also called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. As the name states, it’s caused by the abnormal buildup of fat in your liver—not by alcohol use.

A healthy liver is essential to your overall health.

You can’t live without your liver. It’s involved in helping almost every part of your body, from removing toxins from your blood to helping you digest food. There are many things you can do to keep it working right.

The liver performs more than 500 vital functions to keep you healthy

Click to discover a few of the liver’s most important jobs

Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver Internal view of human body and liver

The liver filters blood to remove toxins.

The liver filters blood to remove toxins.

The liver produces bile, a fluid that helps break down fats.

The liver helps process proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

The liver regulates blood sugar, both storing and releasing it to ensure a steady energy supply.

The liver produces substances that help your blood clot.

The liver stores vitamins and releases them into your body when needed.

Diagram for illustration purposes only.

The liver is your largest internal organ—and an engineering marvel. It filters more than 250 gallons of blood a day.

Diagram for illustration purposes only.

How do you get fatty liver disease?

Doctors don’t know exactly why some people have fat buildup in their livers while others don’t. Some researchers believe your genes can play a role. Fatty liver disease is also common among people of Hispanic descent. Health conditions commonly associated with fatty liver disease include:

Very overweight (obese)

High blood sugar due to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes

High triglyceride and abnormal cholesterol levels

High blood pressure

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Stay on top of fatty liver disease.

Nearly 1 in 4 people who have excess fat in their livers will go on to develop a more serious disease known as NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. If left untreated, NASH can cause severe liver damage and harm your health.

UP next:

What’s NASH and what do I need to know about it?

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Get your liver the help it needs. Talk to your doctor today.

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