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.

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.


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.

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.

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.