Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a peculiar condition because most people associate liver problems with drinking too much alcohol. However, fatty build-up in the liver is not always associated with drinking alcohol. When the condition is not caused by excessive alcohol intake, it is known as NAFLD.
According to the health body, NAFLD is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.
But blood tests do not always pick up NAFLD.
As the NHS explains, the condition may also be spotted during an ultrasound scan of your tummy.
This is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body.
“These combined health problems appear to promote the deposit of fat in the liver,” explains the health body.
“For some people, this excess fat acts as a toxin to liver cells, causing liver inflammation and NASH, which may lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the liver.”
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an aggressive form of fatty liver disease, which is marked by liver inflammation and may progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure.
“This damage is similar to the damage caused by heavy alcohol use,” adds the Mayo Clinic.