The majority of liver steatosis cases are reversible and do not lead to progressive liver disease, explains Healthline. If the cause of steatosis, otherwise known as fatty liver, is alcoholism, abstaining from drinking alcohol may allow the liver to recover completely. A biopsy can ascertain the extent of damage, including whether permanent damage has occurred and what treatment options are preferable. If the cause of fatty liver is obesity, diabetes or high cholesterol, treating the underlying condition is likely helpful.
Most commonly, there are no symptoms of fatty liver, states Healthline. Occasionally, inflammation of the liver is present, which often coincides with fatigue, poor appetite, weight loss and lethargy. Sometimes people with fatty liver have slight abdominal discomfort. The most common cause of liver steatosis is alcoholism. It has also been tied to high blood cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Other causes include abrupt weight loss, genetic factors and hyperlipidemia. Certain medications, including tamoxifen, aspirin, tetracycline and steroids, identify fatty liver as a potential side effect. Frequently, doctors are unsure what causes fatty liver in patients.
Liver steatosis is diagnosed in several ways, such as a physical examination, blood tests, ultrasound and liver biopsy, according to Healthline. Treatment typically involves reducing the likely causes for fatty liver. These methods include cholesterol management, alcohol recovery, blood sugar control and weight loss.