There are two types of fatty liver – one that develops due to excessive consumption of alcohol, and the other that develops in non-drinkers, after an excessive amounts of fat buildup around the liver.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver
Chronic alcoholism can lead to a slow and progressive liver failure. This is known as one of the two common fatty liver causes, because the first phase of an alcoholic liver diseases will probably be an Alcoholic liver disease (also called “alcoholic steatosis”).
The damage is usually reversible if the patient becomes determined and abstinent. But with continued drinking, the result could be unfortunate. When this happens, liver cells gradually die and will be replaced by scar tissue. Excessive amounts of scar tissue can lead to a liver failure and/or Cirrhosis.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
The second fatty liver type and by large a more common one, is a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Until couple of year ago, it was believed that a non-alcoholics fatty liver was just a symptom of being overweight, or a diabetic. But studies from years ago have concluded that a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a completely different disease, which can lead to serious consequences if untreated. The most common causes of the disease are:
- Bad Food habits – eating high-fat concentrated, fried food with high cholesterol; “fast food”; sugar rich snacks.
- Lack or very low physical activity.
- Being overweight or obese.
NAFLD includes two different levels
- Simple Fatty Liver (steatosis)
This is caused due to the deposition of fats in the liver. It usually does not lead to liver inflammation or scar tissue, and the risk of progressive liver damage is relatively low. There are no identified symptoms for simple fatty liver.
- NASH (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
In NASH, besides the excess of fat, there are some signs of inflammation and the liver cells are dying (necrosis).
NASH considered to be more severe than other forms of Non-Alcoholic fatty liver. This is because the simple fact that liver cells are dying. Patients who suffer from NASH are one stage closer to liver cirrhosis. In the United Status, NASH is now considered to be the 3rd most common cause of liver disease in adults (followed by hepatitis C and alcohol). This is most popular cause of liver disease among adolescents.