Fatty liver is a medical term used to describe fat that develops in the liver of people who do not drink alcohol. In most cases, there are no specific signs or complications. However, there are some people who will develop inflammation or liver scarring called steatohepatitis.
Some people may describe fatigue, right upper abdominal pain, or weight changes. Many times fatty liver is discovered during a CT scan or ultrasound for some other condition, such as after a car accident or becoming pregnant.
The liver has hundreds of different functions including metabolism and digestion. When the liver is unable to break down fat properly, it may deposit in different parts of the liver itself.
Certain types of people are at a higher risk of developing fatty liver. These include people who have high cholesterol, are overweight, or who are diabetic. Patients who have hormonal issues such as thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or pituitary gland disorders may also develop this condition.
You may require blood testing, urine testing, or an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will advise you which medications are safe including over-the-counter medicines. You should talk with your doctor and have a physical exam in addition to other testing.