Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): The silent liver disease you need to know about.
What is NAFLD?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the excess accumulation of fat in the liver that is not caused by alcohol. More than 100 million Americans are affected by NAFLD and 20-30% of the population is affected worldwide. NAFLD is the most common cause of chronic liver disease; it’s the first cause of liver transplant in women, second in men, and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, if caught early, the damage can be reversed; otherwise, it will progress from steatosis (simple accumulation of fat in the liver), to steatohepatitis (inflammation of the liver), followed by fibrosis (replacement of functional liver tissue by non-functional scar tissue) and ultimately to cirrhosis.