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Symptoms of fatty liver: How to tell if your organ is fatty

2023-05-29T17:10:37.744Z

Highlights: Fatty liver is very common, especially in people with type 2 diabetes or severe obesity. In Germany, almost 85 percent suffer from chronic fatty liver disease – children can also be affected. Doctors distinguish between three stages of fatty liver: 1st stage: pure fatty liver, no inflammatory reaction. Stage 2: Fatty liver with inflammatory reactions (about one in two sufferers develops steatohepatitis) Stage 3: Cirrhosis of the liver (about ten percent of those affected develop fatty cirrhosis)


It is probably one of the most common diseases of the liver and yet is rarely noticed: fatty liver. Around a quarter of people suffer from it, and the trend is rising. How to recognize the disease.


It is probably one of the most common diseases of the liver and yet is rarely noticed: fatty liver. Around a quarter of people suffer from it, and the trend is rising. How to recognize the disease.

Fatty liver is very common, especially in people with type 2 diabetes or severe obesity. Here, almost 85 percent suffer from chronic fatty liver disease – children can also be affected.

In general, a distinction is made between alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The fatty degeneration of the organ is not harmless, after all, it increases the risk of serious diseases such as stroke and heart attack. This makes it all the more important to pay attention to your diet and consume foods that can promote liver health and cure fatty liver.

The three stages of fatty liver

According to the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), doctors also distinguish between three stages of fatty liver:

  • 1st stage: pure fatty liver, no inflammatory reaction
  • Stage 2: Fatty liver with inflammatory reactions (about one in two sufferers develops steatohepatitis)
  • Stage 3: Cirrhosis of the liver (about ten percent of those affected develop fatty cirrhosis)

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Fatty liver: How to tell if the organ is fatty

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Fatty liver can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. However, more and more people in Germany suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver. (Symbolic image)

© milenavira/Imago

The liver suffers in secret. Fat is stored for months and years and, in severe cases, the organ can swell up to twice its size, according to NDR. The values of the organ (GOT, GPT) are inconspicuous at first, which complicates the diagnosis. According to doctors, those affected suffer at most from symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating – which can also have many other causes. Only when the liver becomes inflamed, the liver values change accordingly and jaundice can occur. Blood sugar and blood lipid levels also change if fatty liver is detected late.

Curing fatty liver: Ten vegetables that are good for the organ

Curing fatty liver: Ten vegetables that are good for the organ

However, doctors can usually palpate an enlarged liver and initiate special examinations to confirm it, for example:

  • Ultrasound of the upper abdomen
  • Determination of liver enzymes by blood test
  • if necessary, puncture of the liver

Cure of fatty liver is possible

Especially in the early stages, fatty liver can be cured through diet. "The liver is a wonderful organ, it can really regenerate completely if you catch the right time," explains Dr. Viola Andresen, a specialist in internal medicine and palliative medicine, to NDR. And further: "That means changing the diet, including fewer carbohydrates, significantly more proteins in the diet." For example, to cure fatty liver, certain types of fruit are good for the organ, as are numerous spices and other foods.

This article contains only general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It is in no way a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, individual questions about clinical pictures may not be answered by our editors.

Category list image: © milenavira/Imago

Source: merkur

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