Fatty liver is a reversible condition wherein large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells via the process of steatosis (i.e., abnormal retention of lipids within a cell). Despite having multiple causes, fatty liver can be considered a single disease that occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and the obese . The condition is also associated with other diseases that influence fat metabolism. When this process of fat metabolism is disrupted, the fat can accumulate in the liver in excessive amounts, thus resulting in a fatty liver.
Fatty liver (FL) is commonly associated with alcohol or metabolic syndrome (diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia), but can also be due to any one of many causes.
- abetalipoproteinemia, glycogen storage diseases, Weber-Christian disease, acute fatty liver of pregnancy, lipodystrophy
- malnutrition, total parenteral nutrition, severe weight loss, refeeding syndrome, jejunoileal bypass, gastric bypass, jejunal diverticulosis with bacterial overgrowth
- Drugs and toxins
- highly active antiretroviral therapy, glucocorticoids, environmental hepatotoxins (e.g., phosphorus, mushroom poisoning) and many other drugs can react negatively in the liver.
- Alcoholism is one of the major cause of fatty liver due to production of toxic metabolites like aldehydes during metabolism of alcohol in the liver. This phenomenon most commonly occurs with chronic alcoholism.
- inflammatory bowel disease, HIV, hepatitis C (especially genotype 3), and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency