Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver of people who drink little to no alcohol. It can lead to scarring of the liver tissue called cirrhosis. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of NAFLD. In addition to fat in the liver, patients who have NASH have inflammation and liver cell damage. 

What causes NAFLD?

The causes of NAFLD are still being studied. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, research suggests that certain genes may increase your chances of developing the disease. Studies also point to some health conditions that may make you more likely to develop the NAFLD. These include:

  1. Being overweight or obese
  2. Having insulin resistance 
  3. Abnormal levels of cholesterol


Most people do not experience symptoms of NAFLD. In rare cases, people may experience fatigue, pain and weight loss. Eventually, as the liver becomes more inflamed, symptoms may become more frequent. 


We provide our patients with state-of-art medical care using laboratory testing and imaging such as Fibroscan® to evaluate the condition of the liver. One of the common recommendations for patients with NAFLD is to make lifestyle changes that include losing weight and avoiding alcohol, which can decrease the build-up of fat within the liver. Our Liver Center’s multidisciplinary team includes physicians from Tufts MC Clinical Nutrition, Pharmacy and the Weight and Wellness Center to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Together, we provide coordinated and personalized care for patients, support individualized weight loss programs and treat the underlying diseases. 

Programs + Services


Tufts Center for Liver Disease specializes in treating liver disease, such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, viral hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
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Liver Transplantation

Tufts Medical Center’s Liver Transplant Program delivers expert liver transplantion and compassionate care from evaluation to post-care.
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