Liver Pain

Learn the details about liver pain.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease, FLD for short, is medical condition in which triglyceride vacuoles (fat) gather in liver cells through steatosis. FLD is considered a single disease, although it has various causes. Liver pain is one possible symptom of fatty liver disease.


Many patients with fatty liver disease are asymptomatic (do not present symptoms). Diagnosis often takes place after finding an abnormal liver function test result. Some possible symptoms and medical signs that may exist in the condition include the following:

Elevated liver biochemistry
Increased echogenicity in ultrasonography
Fat appearing bright in T1-weighted MRI scan
Liver with lower density than the spleen in CT scan
Serum ALT greater than AST in non-alcoholic FLD
Serum AST greater than ALT in alcoholic FLD


FLD may be of either the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety. Additionally, some particular underlying medical causes of fatty liver disease may include items such as those below:

Acid lipase deficiency (Wolman disease)
Acute fatty liver of pregnancy
Alcohol intake
Bacterial overgrowth
Certain toxins
Gastric bypass
Hepatitis C (HCV; particularly genotype 3)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Jejunal diverticulosis
Medications (some)
Metabolic syndrome
Refeeding syndrome
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
Various glycogen storage diseases
Weber-Christian disease
Weight loss (severe)

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of fatty liver disease is made by a doctor or medical professional. As mentioned previously in the symptoms section, particular tests may in some cases reveal traits of FLD.

Treatment methods for fatty liver disease may vary based on FLD type, the underlying cause, and additional factors. In many circumstances, if begun early enough, treatment can lead to a reversal of the steatosis process.

Return home to read about other potential causes of liver pain.