Fatty liver disease is caused by excess fat in the liver. When fat accumulates, the liver becomes inflamed and damaged. The medical term for this is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Excess alcohol use can also cause the liver to become fatty, referred to as alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Fatty liver is potentially serious. Fat accumulation can inflame or damage to liver cells. Over time, cirrhosis may develop, which can lead to liver cancer or liver failure.
NAFLD is quickly becoming the most common liver disease in the United States. Regular exercise, losing weight, and eating a low-fat diet can reverse NAFLD. Stopping or reducing alcohol use can also improve liver health.