Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when your liver has trouble breaking down fats, causing fat to build up in your liver tissue. NAFLD often has no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include fatigue, weakness, fluid build up and swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites), and mental confusion.A Japan-wide study of NAFLD was conducted to clarify epidemiology, genetic background, and liver injury in patients with type 2 diabetes (or diabetes mellitus (DM)) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Over 25 to 30% of DM patients show evidence of NAFLD, and among these patients the proportion with NASH might be more than 30 to 40%. An analysis of 87 NASH-related HCC patients demonstrated that the complication was more common in men than women, and patients with elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) were few.
The exact cause of NAFLD is still unknown. However, both obesity and insulin resistance probably play a strong role in the disease process. The exact reasons and mechanisms by which the disease progresses from one stage to the next are not known.No standard treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease exists.Instead, doctors typically work to treat the risk factors that contribute to the liver disease. For instance, if obese, doctor can help to lose weight through diet, exercise and, in some cases, medications and surgery.