Fatty Liver: Connecting the Dots

Fatty Liver: Connecting the Dots

Why it Matters

Fatty liver disease, also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common causes of chronic liver disease in adults. As a result, it is the leading cause of cirrhosis, and need for liver transplant surgery. It is estimated that 80-100 million Americans have a fatty liver. Clearly, this is a big problem.

Metabolic syndrome, consisting of obesity (typically related to belly fat), type-2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and high blood pressure is the typical profile these patients with fatty liver disease manifest. Unfortunately, our senses have dulled, and this collection of chronic medical conditions has become the new norm. Of course everyone is becoming overweight or obese (haven’t you heard of the COVID 20?); everyone is accepting of being on a statin to lower cholesterol; and it seems many are being told they have “a touch” of diabetes (but there is nothing to worry about).

This apparent indifference to metabolic syndrome, and lack of alarm, is what I find most troubling. We have gotten to the point where we are tolerating these serious medical conditions and we aren’t losing a wink of sleep over them. Where is the outrage, I ask?


I’m a pretty calm guy. You never see me ranting or raving around the hospital or clinic. Discussing fatty liver, and how we got to this point, is enough to unhinge me.

It is estimated that 25% of the population has non-alcoholic fatty liver.


Many have stated that obesity and metabolic syndrome is simply too big a problem to really tackle. We’ve lost the war, and it’s time to go home. Apathy has won.

If you accept this approach, we have signed off on our children. We have left them to a life of chronic disease, and shortened survival (less than their parents). They will experience a loss of earning capacity, decreased achievement, and frankly, a sad existence. For the adults in the room, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, and realize this is no joke.

Solutions should target the following:

  • Understand why you are overweight or obese, and realize the foods you are eating is the root cause.
  • If you have any abnormalities on your blood work, make sure you fully understand the implication of these abnormal values. Insist you receive appropriate medical care.
  • Realize there is no such thing as “a touch of” anything. If you’re told that, ask your medical provider for more details.
  • Don’t accept “we’re going to watch it” as a plan of care.
  • Avoid all processed foods.
  • Strive for a plant-based diet.
  • Avoid eating out at all cost.
  • Teach your children how to cook, and learn about a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat as a family.


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