What Is Fatty Infiltration of the Liver?

By Dana Severson

Fatty infiltration of the liver is ultimately the accumulation of fatty deposits within the tissue of this organ. Often referred to as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the development of this condition isn't always a cause for alarm, as many people don't suffer any problems or complications from this disorder. Actually, it isn't uncommon to never know you have the condition. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take steps to prevent or treat a fatty liver, since it is a vital organ in your body, and the condition can lead to scarring and damage.


As already mentioned, many people who deal with a fatty liver never know they have the condition, as they are presented with no signs or symptoms of disease at all. For others, it may cause some level of pain or discomfort within the abdominal region that is often accompanied by fatigue and an unexplained weight loss.


The development of a fatty liver is often linked to fats themselves. In the liver of a person with this disorder, fat isn't broken down as normal, which leads to accumulation of fat within the tissue walls. Malnutrition and rapid weight loss are two common contributing factors, but your liver may also experience fatty infiltration as a result of high blood cholesterol, diabetes, chemical exposures, surgical procedures, obesity or other health-related conditions.


To prevent the infiltration of fat along the tissue walls, there are two key measures you can put into place. The first is your diet. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while avoiding red meats, whole fat dairy and saturated fats. The second measure in the prevention of a fatty liver is your weight, making your caloric intake and physical fitness important pieces of a healthy liver. Try to maintain a healthy weight to ward off this condition.


If you do develop a fatty liver, your doctor will most likely recommend a dietary change as well as exercise to treat the condition. Otherwise, treatment will revolve around a better management of the disorder that is causing the fatty infiltration, such as diabetes or high cholesterol. If a certain medication is linked to your fatty liver disease, your doctor will usually change your medication, which is then followed with dietary changes and exercise.

Other Factors

It is also important to note the role that alcohol could play in this disorder, especially when you've already developed a fatty liver. For treatment to be effectual, alcohol is often removed from the menu. This is largely due to the effect it has on the organ, frequently hindering its health and function, thereby exacerbating the problem.

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