Most people develop fatty liver disease, also called steatosis, by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly, reports Healthline. The disease also results from inherited metabolic disorders, excessive use of medications or toxins. Fatty liver occurs when the body produces too much fat or fails to metabolize fat quickly, leading to the accumulation of fats in liver cells.
A high-fat diet is not directly associated with fatty liver disease, notes Healthline. In nonalcoholic people, the condition is likely related to type 2 diabetes, obesity or high blood cholesterol. Other causes of fatty liver include fast weight loss and inappropriate use of over-the-counter medications, such as tetracycline, tamoxifen, steroids and aspirin.
Fatty liver does not cause symptoms or long-term damage, and it is reversible through diet changes, proper weight loss, control of blood sugar and cholesterol, regular physical activity and abstinence from alcohol, according to Healthline. However, it sometimes causes damage to the liver if the underlying condition is not treated promptly.
Obese, alcoholic, diabetic and pregnant individuals have a higher risk of developing fatty liver disease, states Healthline. Those who have high cholesterol or triglyceride levels are also prone to building up excess fats in the liver. To lower risk of the disease, it helps to choose healthy meal plans, keep a healthy weight and minimize alcohol intake.