10. How is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) diagnosed?

Liver Health

Learn more about the diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

09/01/2018


Emily Condon
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

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How is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) diagnosed?

If you present any symptoms of liver disease, a doctor will ask about your lifestyles factors including your diet and your alcohol intake to distinguish between alcohol-related and non-alcoholic related liver disease. A physical examination may be performed to check if the liver or spleen is enlarged and a liver function blood test is an excellent way to check for specific markers which are indicative of liver health. The liver enzymes gamma GT (GGT), alanine transferase (ALT) and aspartate transferase (AST) can be elevated if the liver is damaged or if the biliary system is obstructed.

If the NAFLD diagnosis is linked to being overweight, then the doctor will most likely advise various lifestyle changes such as taking steps to lose weight and exercising regularly. Occasionally, for mild cases of NAFLD, a doctor may focus more on associated conditions that can cause the build-up of fat in the liver such as high cholesterol and diabetes.

Once an individual has been diagnosed with NAFLD, the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) score can be used to detect the stage of liver fibrosis. A doctor may diagnose advanced liver fibrosis if the individual has been diagnosed with NAFLD and their ELF score is 10.51 or above. 

Learn more about liver disease:

What is the liver?

What can go wrong with the liver?

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

What is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)? 

What are the symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?

How is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) diagnosed?

What is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

Am I at risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

What are the symptoms of non-alcoholic related liver disease (NAFLD)?


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