Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Treatment by Top Doctors at Mercy

Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Portal Hypertension

Dr. Paul ThuluvathDr. Anurag Maheshwari and Dr. Hwan Yoo of The Center for Liver and Hepatobiliary Diseases at Mercy in Baltimore focus on finding the best treatment options available for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Dr. Thuluvath conducts non-alcoholic fatty liver disease research trials that provide recommendations and treatment options to reduce disease progression, review new modalities of treatment, and provide liver cancer screenings.

About the Condition

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, is a very common disease of the liver that affects people who do not drink much alcohol. When the liver has trouble breaking down fat, it builds up in the liver. This build-up of fat often does not cause any complications. However, in some cases, the fat build-up can cause:

  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in which the liver becomes inflamed
  • Non-alcoholic liver disease associated cirrhosis in which the liver becomes scarred

Both these conditions of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease cause the liver to function improperly. Severe non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to portal hypertension, liver cancer, or liver failure.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include obesity, hyperlipidemia (high triglycerides and high cholesterol), and type II diabetes. Appropriate and timely management may reduce the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Most people do not experience any symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain in the upper right side

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can be diagnosed using:

  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Liver biopsies
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Treatment Options

There are not specific treatment options for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, though it is recommended that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease receive the hepatitis A vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine. Most often, treatment involves reducing the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk factors. The more severe forms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, such as cirrhosis, require cancer screenings.

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Patient Stories
Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD


A patient tells of her experience participating in a clinical trial for NASH at Mercy in Baltimore.