I have a strong family history of liver disease and cirrhosis.
Some years ago, after a routine physical, my internist noted that my liver function tests were elevated. An extensive workup revealed no infectious hepatitis or other abnormality. It is very likely that I had NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), also known as “fatty liver.”
While much attention is focused on the vascular complications (hypertension; heart attack; stroke; impotence) of obesity, many obese people have fatty liver that can progress over time to cirrhosis. The more visceral (“belly”) fat we have, the more inflammation and abnormal liver function we have. In rare cases, this can progress to liver cancer or require a liver transplant. We may see obesity replace alcoholism as a more common cause of cirrhosis and liver failure.