Does Fatty Liver Cause Pain?

Fatty liver, also known as hepatic steatosis, is a condition where there is an excessive accumulation of fat in the liver cells. In the early stages, fatty liver may not cause any symptoms, and many people with this condition may not experience any pain or discomfort.

However, as the condition progresses or if it develops into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a more severe form of fatty liver disease, some individuals may experience symptoms such as:

  • Discomfort or pain in the upper right abdomen: As the liver becomes enlarged due to fat accumulation, it can stretch the surrounding capsule, leading to a dull or aching sensation in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.
  • Fatigue: Fatty liver disease can lead to inflammation and damage to liver cells, which may result in fatigue and weakness.
  • Enlarged liver: In some cases, a fatty liver may become enlarged, and this can sometimes cause a feeling of fullness or discomfort in the abdomen.
  • Jaundice: In severe cases or if complications arise, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) may occur.

It’s important to note that not everyone with fatty liver disease will experience symptoms. Fatty liver is often detected incidentally during routine medical check-ups or through imaging tests done for other reasons. Therefore, if you suspect you may have fatty liver or are experiencing any symptoms related to liver health, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Fatty liver is commonly associated with factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and excessive alcohol consumption. Lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and managing underlying health conditions, can help improve fatty liver and prevent its progression to more serious liver diseases.