5 Signs Your Liver Has “Too Much Fat” – Eat This

Fat can be stored almost anywhere on the body, including the liver. It is normal to have a small amount of fat in the second largest organ of the body, but too much can cause serious health complications. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or steatosis, is a common condition that “occurs in people who do not drink heavily. The condition affects one in three adults and one in 10 children in the United States.” Cleveland Clinic states. In some cases it can damage the liver, but the good news is that you can reverse it with healthy lifestyle changes and habits. Eat This, Not That! spoke with health John AngstadtJoe, MD, director of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Staten Island University Hospital, shares what he needs to know about Steatosis and signs you have. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t forget to check out these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID,

liver disease

Doctor. Angstad explains, “The health concern regarding your liver and fat is the fat that gets stored within the liver. Medically, we call this condition steatosis. When the fat content in your liver exceeds 5% of your liver weight, you have steatosis. When you consume more calories, you store fat in the liver. Any increase in caloric intake can cause steatosis. Sugary drinks and alcohol are cited as common culprits because they add calories to your diet but actually have no apparent nutritional value. We don’t count liquid calories and it’s easy to consume too many calories in a short amount of time.”

doctor patient closeup fatty liver disease

Doctor. Angstead tells us, “Today much of steatosis is linked to your weight. At-risk patients are those whose body mass index is greater than 30. Body mass index or BMI links your weight to your height and is a general indicator of whether you have excess body weight. As your BMI increases, so does the risk of fat accumulation in your liver. We also see steatosis in patients with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and those taking certain types of medications.”


“Steatosis becomes a significant risk as the disease progresses,” Dr. Angstead says. ,In some patients, fat in the liver causes an inflammatory reaction called steatohepatitis. This inflammation can lead to scarring of the liver, which is a hallmark of cirrhosis. Once scar tissue forms, it cannot be removed or treated, so the best treatment is to avoid progression of the disease.”

Woman sitting on bed and touching her left side with pain in the house

According to Dr. Angstad, “Losing weight is the best way to reduce or eliminate the fat present in your liver. You can lose weight with diet and exercise but if you have significant weight to lose (BMI over 35), surgical options offer better results. If you have diabetes, it is important that you keep your disease under good control. If you have been told you have fatty liver, it is best to avoid alcohol of any kind. Doctor. Angstad emphasizes Finding a good program and support network is helpful. “Staten Island University Hospital has a comprehensive medical and surgical weight loss program. Using the latest medical advances, we help our patients achieve clinically safe weight loss and reduce their risk of developing life-shortening diseases. Do less. Live longer and better.”

woman with liver

Doctor. Angstead says,Most patients with steatosis have no symptoms which makes the disease more dangerous. Some patients note the following symptoms:

  • Pain or fullness in the right upper quadrant above the liver
  • loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin (more advanced stage)
  • Swelling of your abdomen (more advanced stage)”

Heather Newgen

Heather Newgen has over two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently freelancing for several publications. Read more about Heather

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