Fatty liver disease is a medical condition where you have too much fat built up in your liver. While people generally consider all forms of fatty liver to be the same, there are two main types, plus a third less common one.
Here are the different types of fatty liver diseases to be aware of.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
When you have a fatty liver that is from drinking large amounts of alcohol, it is called alcoholic fatty liver, or just alcoholic liver disease. This means the extra fat buildup in your liver is from consuming alcohol in large quantities. Alcohol is very damaging to your liver and kidneys, but especially in causing fatty liver. This can eventually lead to liver failure, requiring a transplant and threatening your life, so it is essential that you start getting treatment right away. You may also have risk factors for alcoholic fatty liver disease if you have too much iron and are obese, as well as drinking alcohol.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The other type of fatty liver disease is not caused by alcohol, hence the term non-alcoholic. While you may still drink some alcohol, this is not the type of liver diseased causing by large consumption of alcoholic beverages. Instead, it is often genetic, from other medical conditions, or due to an unhealthy lifestyle. If you have hepatitis C, you are at a higher risk because it causes inflammation of the liver. You may also be at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) if you eat poorly, are obese, have an autoimmune liver disease, diabetes, or have high cholesterol.
Pregnancy-Related Fatty Liver Disease
The good news about this condition is that not only is it rare, but it is acute, meaning you will only have it during pregnancy. However, this doesn’t mean you should not take it seriously. You can get liver failure or transfer this to your growing baby, so if you suspect liver problems during pregnancy, you need to let your doctor know immediately. Pregnancy-related fatty liver disease is similar to gestational diabetes, which causes a spike in blood sugar only during pregnancy.
While fatty liver disease in any form is potentially serious, it is also fairly easy to treat. Focus on nutrition, weight loss, and medical treatment to clean out your liver and avoid more serious complications. And always make sure you reduce your alcohol intake if you think you have any form of liver disease.