How dangerous is an enlarged or fatty liver?

Updated November 21, 2016

An enlarged fatty liver is the result of poor diet or excessive drinking. Alcohol and fatty foods can have the same effect on the liver over time. These lifestyle factors can cause the liver to become inflamed and enlarged in some people.

Physical Effects

Many people who have enlarged fatty liver disease are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms. However, some people with severe fatty liver disease will develop problems with gallstones. In addition some people may also develop acne or other skin conditions from too many toxins in the blood because their liver is not functioning normally.


Enlarged fatty liver is not dangerous in the early stages. The liver is amazing because this organ can repair itself when changes are made quickly.


There are two different types of enlarged fatty liver disease. The most common type is steatois, also called simple fatty liver. This type of fatty liver is the result of too much fat in the diet. In most cases this type of fatty liver disease does not cause damage to the liver.

Another type of fatty liver disease is steatophepatitis. This type of fatty liver disease is more serious because the liver becomes enlarged and inflamed. Over time fibrous tissue forms which can lead to liver cancer or cirrohosis.


Fatty liver takes time to correct. What you need to do is maintain a healthy weight. In addition, you may also want to start including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as salmon, raw vegetables and healthy fats like omega three fatty acids.


If you or someone you know is having pains in their liver this could be a sign of serious liver or gallbladder disease. Fatty liver can bring on gallstones causing severe pain in that region.

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