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HealthInfo Canterbury

Fatty liver

Fatty liver is a condition that happens when fat builds up in the cells of your liver. Most often it happens because someone is overweight or obese.

This condition doesn't usually cause any symptoms and so may only be picked up by chance when you have a blood test to check your liver. You may also have an ultrasound scan to confirm that you have a fatty liver.

Fatty liver can lead to inflammation, which, if it gets worse, can cause scarring and eventually cirrhosis (severe scarring) or liver failure. People with fatty liver are also more prone to problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

The treatment is to lose weight and become more active, and so reduce the amount of fat in your liver. This will also lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the future.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2017.

See also:

Understanding your liver function results

Page reference: 52880

Review key: HILIV-52878