Causes of Fatty Liver in Humans


Reasons for Fatty Liver

The human liver is a vascular and glandular organ that converts fats obtained from one’s diet to a type that can be stored and used for normal body functions.  When the dietary fat consumed by a person is in unusual amounts, it can bring about several unhealthy conditions of the liver, including fatty liver disease.

What is exactly a fatty liver?


Fatty liver is a state wherein the liver, due to increased pile-up of unhealthy fats and triglycerides, begins to enlarge in size as well as develop a yellowish discoloration.  When left undetected or untreated, it can give rise to various other unhealthy body conditions.

Several causes to this condition have been identified and some of the causative factors are discussed below.

Lifestyle and Diet – A sedentary lifestyle will lower down the efficiency of most body organs, including that of the liver.  When the liver’s ability to break down fats decreases, it leads to fat build-up in the liver bringing about this condition called fatty liver.

An unhealthy diet that is rich in refined and processed foods, fried foods, and contains excess animal fats is linked to the development of this unpleasant liver condition.  Animal products contain a certain type of fat called cholesterol, which when taken in excess will eventually increase the risk of developing fatty liver.

–       Alcoholism – Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can be harmful to the liver.  As and when alcohol is consumed, it flows into the bloodstream and passes first through the liver before moving to the rest of the body.  The liver cells proceed to metabolize alcohol into other various chemicals which is ultimately passed out of the body.  However, when the amount of alcohol going in is more than what the liver can metabolize at a given time, it will begin to accumulate and cause fatty liver disease.

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–       Obesity – A high-fat diet along with a sedentary lifestyle leads to a condition marked by excessive body fat, or obesity.  Obesity poses a serious risk to the health condition of a liver, which when not brought under control, over time, can even lead to fatty liver or even liver damage.

While in some individuals obesity is related to unhealthy lifestyle patterns, in some others it is linked to disease conditions like diabetes.

Disease conditions and drugs – In reality, fatty liver is a common occurrence among those who are obese as well as are suffering from a diabetic condition.  Diabetes, the type that is insulin resistant, usually causes an inflammatory state within that can affect the liver largely leading to fatty liver condition.  Poor liver functions cause excess fat buildup and makes the controlling process of glucose levels a little harder for the organ.  If this liver condition is left untreated, it can increase the severity of diabetes at a rapid rate.

–       Medications – Excess usage of prescription or over-the-counter medications can lead to drug-induced fatty liver disease.  Anything that goes into the body in excess is considered harmful, and this applies to prescription medications too.  Taking in medicines for a longer period of time can weaken the functions of liver and lead to the development of problems like fatty liver.

Faulty eating patterns, increased consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs, abusive use of prescription medications can all lead to toxin overload within the body.  This eventually will cause liver cells to perish and bring about fatty liver condition.  Correcting all of the above, may help in reversing this liver condition if detected earlier on.