Fatty liver disease is commonly caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, but it can also be found in individuals who do not drink any alcohol. Individuals who suffer from poor nutrition, abrupt weight loss, autoimmune disorders, medications, or viral hepatitis are more likely to have fat in their liver. A normal liver can contain approximately 5-10% fat. Any percentage higher than this is indicative of liver disease. Fatty liver disease is also common in individuals who are overweight, have high cholesterol or diabetes. There are other types of liver disease that are hereditary and run in families even when alcohol is not a factor.
Hepatitis is a viral infection characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B and C can cause severe liver damage. Most types of hepatitis are treated with medications to treat the virus and reduce the inflammation in the liver. Treatment can completely eliminate or limit the growth of the virus. If a person with hepatitis drinks alcohol, they may be asked to stop as alcohol is one of the biggest irritants to the liver. When a patient is diagnosed with advanced liver disease from hepatitis or other liver conditions, a liver transplant may be recommended.
Cirrhosis is defined as scar tissue and inflammation of the liver. There are many different causes of cirrhosis. Excessive alcohol consumption, chronic hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease and untreated fatty liver are the most common causes. Limiting a person's alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet that is low in fats, additives and preservatives, and including foods that promote good liver health are essential when trying to reduce the risk of cirrhosis-related health concerns.