Fatty Liver Diagnosis

Fatty Liver diagnosis is somewhat tricky, because you don’t have any symptoms to begins with. And if you don’t have any noticeable symptoms, it’s very hard to actually get diagnosed. You might as well have fatty liver for years and even decades without even knowing it.

Most people who have been diagnosed with the disease were because of a routine blood test.

The First Blood Test

The first blood is the most important one. It’s the test that starts the diagnosis process. Without it, you’d have a “sleeper” disease within your liver.

Fatty Liver Blood Test

A blood test can detect a liver disorder by evaluating the liver enzyme levels – ALT. If the blood test results show an high levels of ALT, it’s a sign there is an issue with your liver.

This is the time were your physician will most likely ask you to redo the blood test. But this time it will be very focused on the liver.

Second Blood Test

This blood test has two goals:

  • Rule out common liver conditions, such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
  • Include other tests to check your liver condition more closely.

The most important blood tests that check your liver’s condition are ALT (also called SGPT), AST (also called SGOT), and Bilirubin.

If Hep B and Hep C have been ruled out, high levels of ALT and/or AST may suggest a fatty liver. You can read in more details about liver function’s blood test here.

Liver Ultrasound

After the blood tests, you will need to do an abdominal ultrasound scan. This will allow for a close examination of your liver tissue to confirm whether you have a fatty liver and its severity.

More details on Fatty Liver Ultrasound >>

* Note: In rare cases where there is no clear sign of a fatty liver even though a blood test shows high liver enzyme levels, a liver biopsy might be needed.

Self-Diagnosis

If you’d like, we have a special tool we built specifically to help with fatty liver diagnosis. We simply call it Fatty Liver Self-Diagnosis tool. Simply answer few questions and we’ll try to decide if you have a fatty liver or not. It’s completely FREE of charge.

70 comments
add a comment
  1. Marlene Slusser
    Marlene Slusser says:

    Dear Doctor Bar-Gomel,

    I recently went for a physical and the doctor did a complete blood analysis. My results for the ALT were 36 U/L and AST were 26 U/L, which is in the normal range according to your website. I received a call to come back in this week, and I just got the results, for a second blood test that they were concerned about the ALT 36. Is it necessary to go back right away. I had been told before that I have a fatty liver. I would like to wait a month and take off some weight – and also quit taking herbs and aspirin. I presently weigh 150 and am 5’6″ – what do you think?

    Reply
  2. Carla
    Carla says:

    My father is 71 and has been having problems with his belly . I took him to the Dr and they did a lot of lab work and had a cat scan done on the abdomen. The Dr just said all lab work was fine and the cat scan didn’t show anything except he has a fatty liver ( in which he said you just get it over a period of time ) but I’m sorry . I want more detailed answers . Does anyone know of anything that we might can do to get more answers?

    Reply
  3. Katie
    Katie says:

    Hi, my liver enzymes keep raising but my ultrasound shows a normal liver. My cholesterol levels are normal, my sugar-diabetic levels show I do not have diabetes, I have had about 10-12 drinks in the last 3-4 years an was never a heavy drinker before that. I am overweight and do have Rheumatoid Arthritis. What could be wrong with my liver?

    Reply
  4. Dynelle
    Dynelle says:

    Hello, I’ve been having problems with the liver for 30 yrs either the liver enzymes are high or I get hepatitis I had it 3 times. Last time my liver was checked m ALT and ALS were elevated 10 x’s higher than normal. I was diagnosed with a non alcoholic fatty liver. I’m terrified that something is wrong with my liver besides a fatty liver. I’m diabetic, have neuropathy in my hands, feet and small intestine. The pain in my liver can be excruciating as soon as I eat my stomach hurts also causing pain in my right side. I also have myofascial pain disorder. I’ve been on a liquid diet for 4 months only drinking carnation instant breakfast and eating a granola bar loosing 30lbs. I hate the test for gastroparesis which is negative. Dr took a lot of different blood tests which I will receive the results tomorrow. Can you help me out here. I don’t know what to do.

    Lost in Oregon

    Reply
    • Candace. Sherman
      Candace. Sherman says:

      I was diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver about 2 years ago. I started reading a book, “Fatty Liver You Can Reverse It” by Sandra Cabot jM.D., this book has helped me to understand my condition and what to do for it. There is guidance for a correct diet. I also use a liver tonic called Livatone Plus which I order through the book. The main things I have learned is losing weight, avoiding sugar (because the liver changes sugar into fat) and to reduce carbs. It’s all in the book. The best to you. Candace

      Reply
  5. Dynelle
    Dynelle says:

    Hello, I’ve been having problems with the liver for 30 yrs either the liver enzymes are high or I get hepatitis I had it 3 times. Last time my liver was checked m ALT and ALS were elevated 10 x’s higher than normal. I was diagnosed with a non alcoholic fatty liver. I’m terrified that something is wrong with my liver besides a fatty liver. I’m diabetic, have neuropathy in my hands, feet and small intestine. The pain in my liver can be excruciating as soon as I eat my stomach hurts also causing pain in my right side. I also have myofascial pain disorder. I’ve been on a liquid diet for 4 months only drinking carnation instant breakfast and eating a granola bar loosing 30lbs. I hate the test for gastroperesis which is negative. Dr took a lot of blood test which I will receive the results tomorrow. Can you help me out here. I don’t know what to do.

    Lost in Oregon

    Reply
  6. viru
    viru says:

    My son was diagnosed with fatty lever stage 2 while he was admitted in the hosp for high fever. After three months of his discharge his blood test viz LFT has shown normal results. Should he now go in for ultrasound.

    Reply
  7. viru
    viru says:

    My son was diagnosed fatty lever stage 2 while he was admitted in the hospital for high fever. After three months of his discharge his blood test ie LFT has shown normal results . Should he now go in for ultrasound?

    Reply
  8. Liseth
    Liseth says:

    My daughter is only 17 years she over weight blood was normal 3 month ago dr order ultrasound to check kiney stone but they only found fatty liver but they said normal size is normal please help me dr mark I am worry for my daughter if she loose weight the fatty liver will go away please answer me when you got time thank you

    Reply
    • Mark Bar-Gomel
      Mark Bar-Gomel says:

      Hi Liseth,

      If your daughter will loose weight her liver will slowly but safely recover itself.
      What’s your daughter’s weight/height at this moment?

      Yours,
      Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel

      Reply
  9. JLB
    JLB says:

    Hi,
    I have ME, FMS, hyper mobile joints, and chronic anaemia. I’ve had a blood test for the anaemia that showed that my ALT levels have gone from 10 – 163, I don’t drink, or eat fatty foods. I don’t think I’ve had an infection lately either, though where I generally feel very unwell it can be hard to tell. My question is- how likely is it that my ALT levels will spontaneously return to normal? Or is it more likely that there’s something wrong?

    Many thanks

    Reply
« Show older comments

Leave a comment

Have a question or something to contribute?
Write your comment below and Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel will reply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *