NAFLD, NASH and fatty liver disease

Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a long-lasting liver condition caused by having too much fat in the liver. It is closely linked with being overweight as well as conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.

Non-alcohol related steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more serious stage of NAFLD. In a small number of people it can lead to liver cancer or liver failure.

The main treatment for NAFLD is eating a well-balanced diet, being physically active and (if needed) losing weight. Research shows these can reduce liver fat and in some cases reverse NAFLD.

Acute fatty liver disease is not the same as NAFLD. Acute fatty liver can occur suddenly during pregnancy (acute fatty liver of pregnancy or AFLP) or due to certain drugs or toxins.

Read more about AFLP here.

Some people use a slightly different version of the name - ‘non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’.

Some scientists and doctors have suggested using the name metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and you might hear it being used. It specifically means a fatty liver caused by excess weight or problems with energy balance, which account for most cases of NAFLD.