What is a Fatty Liver Disease? A Deeper Understanding healthcare nt sickcare

What is a Fatty Liver Disease? Blood Tests for Fatty Liver Disease

What is a Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition that occurs when there is an accumulation of fat in the liver. This is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. 

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis of fatty liver disease. We will also explore how healthcare nt sickcare can help you get the right blood tests to diagnose this condition.

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. However, as the condition progresses, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Causes of Fatty Liver Disease

The most common cause of the fatty liver disease is obesity and metabolic syndrome. Other causes include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Medications such as corticosteroids and tamoxifen
  • Inherited disorders such as Wilson's disease and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

How to Test for Fatty Liver?

The diagnosis of fatty liver disease is usually made after a physical examination and blood tests. A liver function test can show elevated liver enzymes, which can be a sign of inflammation or damage to the liver. An ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be done to visualize the liver and confirm the presence of fat deposits. In some cases, a liver biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat builds up in liver cells. Testing helps evaluate the degree of fat accumulation and liver damage.

  1. Medical History: The doctor obtains information about risk factors like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, rapid weight loss, malnutrition, alcohol use, medications, and family history.
  2. Physical Exam: The physician will examine the abdomen for signs of enlargement or tenderness that may indicate a fatty liver.
  3. Blood Tests: Liver function tests check levels of liver enzymes like ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, bilirubin, and albumin. Elevated levels signify liver cell damage that occurs with fatty liver.
  4. Liver Ultrasound: This imaging test uses sound waves to detect fat in the liver and abnormalities like scar tissue. It can distinguish simple fatty liver from more advanced disease.
  5. Transient Elastography: A specialized ultrasound called FibroScan uses sound waves to measure liver stiffness, which increases with progressive fat accumulation and fibrosis.
  6. CT Scan: A CT scan creates cross-sectional images of the liver that help evaluate fat content, fibrosis, lesions, tumors, and anatomy.
  7. MRI Scan: An MRI provides a very detailed view of the liver to assess fat content, iron deposits, lesions, and liver anatomy using magnetic fields.
  8. Liver Biopsy: This invasive procedure removes a small sample of liver tissue to analyze under a microscope. It is the gold standard for confirming fatty liver disease and evaluating the degree of inflammation and fibrosis.

Combining your history, imaging, blood work, biopsy, and specialist referral provides the most complete diagnostic picture.

Blood Tests for Fatty Liver Disease

Blood tests are a common way to diagnose fatty liver disease. The following are some of the blood tests that may be used to diagnose and monitor the condition:

  1. Liver Function Test: This test measures levels of certain liver enzymes that can indicate liver damage or inflammation.
  2. Complete Blood Count: This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. It can help to identify anaemia, infection, or blood clotting disorders.
  3. Lipid Profile: This test measures levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. High levels of these fats can contribute to fatty liver disease.
  4. Blood Sugar Test: This test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. High levels of glucose can contribute to fatty liver disease.
  5. Insulin Test: This test measures the amount of insulin in the blood. High levels of insulin can contribute to fatty liver disease.
  6. Iron Studies: This test measures levels of iron in the blood. High levels of iron can cause liver damage and contribute to fatty liver disease.

Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease

Treatment for the fatty liver disease usually involves lifestyle changes, such as:

  1. Losing weight: Losing even a small amount of weight can help to reduce the amount of fat in the liver.
  2. Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce the amount of fat in the liver.
  3. Avoiding alcohol: Alcohol can damage the liver and worsen fatty liver disease.
  4. Controlling diabetes: Keeping blood sugar levels under control can help to prevent or slow the progression of fatty liver disease.
  5. Exercise: Regular exercise can help to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and improve overall health.

In some cases, medications may be prescribed to treat fatty liver disease. These may include:

  1. Medications to control blood sugar levels
  2. Medications to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  3. Medications to reduce inflammation in the liver
  4. Medications to control iron levels in the blood

In severe cases of fatty liver disease, a liver transplant may be necessary.

What is the best way to prevent fatty liver disease?

The best way to prevent fatty liver disease is by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.

Can fatty liver disease be reversed?

Yes, in some cases, fatty liver disease can be reversed with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, a healthy diet, and exercise.

How long does it take to reverse fatty liver disease?

The time it takes to reverse fatty liver disease depends on the extent of liver damage and the underlying cause. In some cases, it may take several months to see improvement.


Fatty liver disease is a common condition that affects many people around the world. While it can be caused by a variety of factors, lifestyle changes are often effective in treating and preventing the condition. Regular blood tests can help to diagnose and monitor fatty liver disease, and early intervention can improve the chances of a successful treatment outcome. healthcare nt sickcare offers a wide range of blood tests for diagnosing and monitoring fatty liver disease, as well as a variety of other health conditions. With its convenient online booking system and state-of-the-art testing facilities, healthcare nt sickcare is committed to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare services to people across India.


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