Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms

When talking about fatty liver disease symptoms you usually tend to think that it involves a sort of physical symptom you can point on, like so many other disease. In reality, fatty liver has nearly non-existent symptoms.

In most cases it is usually “hidden” and unnoticeable, until a routine blood test shows elevated levels of liver enzymes.

The reason behind this is because fat development around the liver is a very slow process, and usually takes years and even decades until it develops into a more severe liver disorder that actually has symptoms, like Cirrhosis. And while the fat is building up, there are almost no noticeable signs whatsoever.

Fatty Liver Symptoms

However, at a later stage of fatty liver development, the livers size is usually enlarged, and might cause an obscure discomfort in the right upper stomach. But it doesn’t happen to everyone, and isn’t considered as an actual symptoms of because it’s usually not painful.

This is the only “physical” fatty liver symptom, but again, it only happens at a later stage of the disease and not to everyone.

Diagnosing Fatty Liver even without Symptoms

You might ask, if there are no noticeable symptoms to fatty liver, how can one even know you have it? There is no simple answer to this question.

However, there is something anyone can do just to make sure to diagnose it when it happens, and that is to routinely take a blood test about every 6-12 month. A routine blood test is highly recommend for anyone, as it’s the best modern way to diagnose many diseases, especially at their early stage, and fatty liver is no stranger here.

If you do have a fatty liver, you will probably have an elevated ALT levels in your blood test results, which will eventually lead to a proper fatty liver diagnosis.

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  1. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Liver enzymes elevated. Started a diet and taking milk thistle. Starting the shake called “Ultra Nourish” tomorrow. My skin itching to the point clothes are uncomfortable to wear. Urine getting lighter in color! I need to start an exercise routine as that seems to be the key. Any other comments appreciated!!

  2. Terrie
    Terrie says:

    My blood work has and is fine. No diabetes, non drinker…I lost a good amount of weight. I have severe health issues. I take lots of medications. I had an MRI because of a hernia and they said I had a “Fatty Liver” also. Nothing was discussed with me about it. It is about six months later and I have now been battling upper right under rib cage pain, I am wondering if this is a factor. I am babysitting my granddaughter and at first thought that maybe I pulled something or I was just using it more but after a week of using my left, having my husband do the lifting, pain meds, rest, etc. and it is no better I am concerned. It hurts to breath. The pain causes nausea so eating generally makes me not eat. I will feel hungry, try to eat, start feeling sick, sometimes gagging and vomiting. Now and then I can get a little down. I am tired of the pain. Any ideas??

  3. terri
    terri says:

    My liver enzymes Was elevated and doctor sent

    me for a ultrasound test came back as fatty liver and my abdomen lymph node was inflamed now he wants me to get a ctscan. Why I’m worried

  4. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    Hi Dr. Bar-Gomel,
    I went to the Dr. about 1 1/2 yrs ago for edema…they did a lot of testing to try to figure out why I am retaining water. Liver tests came back fine. When I lost my medical coverage, I had not been given any answers other than tests seem to be fine. Can edema be linked to fatty liver? I drank fairly heavily (drank to get drunk 1-2 times a week for about 5 years) when I was in my 20’s but now am 41 and haven’t drank in about 15 years. The water I retain is in my legs, primarily, and is much worse in weather that is 50+ degrees…if that info helps. Thanks for any insight you can offer!

  5. Ajith Gopalakrishnan
    Ajith Gopalakrishnan says:

    Hi Dr Mark

    In a routine checkup, my doctor said I have non alcoholic fatty liver. Now I’m having heavy throat ache since 2 weeks. Is there any relation between this throat ache and fatty liver?

  6. Lei
    Lei says:

    Hi Mark. My doctor said I have non-alcoholic fatty liver and I’m afraid that I will have a problem with my medical for my immigrant visa application in the USA. My SGPT is 79 down to 54, and my SGOT is 76 down to 35. My doctor gave me Silymarin and Vitamin E. I’ve been taking this supplements for 3 months now. Do you think I will have a problem with my visa application if I have fatty liver? Thank you and God bless.

    • Mark Bar-Gomel
      Mark Bar-Gomel says:

      Hi Lei,

      I don’t think you will be having any problem with the visa application, as fatty liver isn’t considered a serious disease, and is very treatable.
      Regarding Silymarin, is it true that it could help to fight fatty liver disease, but you must remember that the real treatment for fatty liver is a proper diet and physical activity!
      Other natural cures could help to fight the disease but there is no substitute for eating the right food and doing some exercise.

      Please take a look here to learn about what foods you should eat and what foods you should avoid:

      Best wishes,
      Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel

  7. mannu
    mannu says:

    I have a fatty liver. The symptoms I have is: mouth sour hardly and feel like vomiting. I have it for about three years, so I’m in stress.

    • Mark Bar-Gomel
      Mark Bar-Gomel says:

      Hello Mannu,

      As of today there are no evidence that mouth sour and vomiting are a symptom for a fatty liver disease. It might be related to something else.
      I suggest checking it with your physician.

      Best wishes,
      Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel

  8. Susan
    Susan says:

    I went through a horrible year of elevated ammonia levels, decreased mental status, confusion, falling. Actually fell and hit corner of left eye resulting in a closed head trauma…had raccoon eyes for over two months!! As a result my Dr sent me to Shands where they performed a liver biopsy, nicked my lung which resulted in a pulmonary embolism…very nasty procedure to have had done!! Long story short I was informed by the specialist at Shands that I have Fatty Liver Disease. Her only suggestion was weight loss. I lost total of 30 pounds, still have RUQ pain and severe pain in stomach in area over pancreas. This had been an ongoing problem for almost 4 years now and I’m learning to ignore the symptoms. Always warn my doctor at physicals not to palpitate area over stomach with much force. I don’t believe enough is actually understood about this condition. And with Obamacare on the horizon, we can forget getting the answers we deserve!

  9. robin says
    robin says says:

    Hello everyone. I also just found out that I have a fatty liver. I’m scared and will do whatever I can to turn it around. I have now put myself on a strict diet and continuing to exercise.I do have multiple sclerosis and I’m trying to determine if this coulod be a cause or maybe the medication I’m on. Any feedback would be great.


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