“Grade 2 fatty liver disease” is the term for moderate fatty liver disease and its symptoms. Fatty liver disease results from excessive buildup of fat in the liver.
Medical professionals may grade fatty liver disease based on the severity of a person’s symptoms. The grades are:
- Grade 1: mild
- Grade 2: moderate
- Grade 3: severe
This article discusses what grade 2 fatty liver disease is and outlines its symptoms. It also looks at what causes fatty liver disease, how doctors diagnose it, and how a person might treat fatty liver disease.
Grade 2 fatty liver disease is
A person has grade 2 fatty liver disease if they display the following signs:
- Steatosis: This is a buildup of fat in the liver cells.
- Ballooning of hepatocytes: Hepatocytes are a type of liver cells. Fatty liver disease can cause them to balloon, or enlarge and lose their polygonal shape. This ballooning usually occurs in zone 3 of the liver, which is located
around the central veins.
- Intralobular inflammation: The lobules are the functional unit of the liver. They are very small hexagonal structures made up of different types of liver cells. If a person has grade 2 fatty liver disease, the lobules display inflammation.
- Mild to moderate portal inflammation: The portal vein
drains the bloodfrom a number of organs and the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. In a person with grade 2 fatty liver disease, the portal vein displays mild to moderate inflammation.
Medical professionals often refer to fatty liver disease as a
A person may not even display symptoms if they develop more severe fatty liver disease.
If a person does experience symptoms, they may feel tired and experience discomfort or pain in the upper right side of their abdomen.
Other possible symptoms
Fatty liver may also lead to the development of cirrhosis. This is scarring of the liver due to long-term liver damage.
Symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- loss of appetite
- itchy skin
- fluid buildup in the abdomen
- memory problems
- easy bleeding
Experts do not fully understand the causes of fatty liver disease. However, certain factors may increase a person’s risk of developing it.
If heavy alcohol use causes fat to build up in the liver, medical professionals refer to this condition as alcohol-related liver disease.
Factors that may increase a person’s risk of fatty liver disease
- type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance
- high levels of triglycerides in the blood
- abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood, including:
- metabolic syndrome, which involves any three of the following symptoms:
- large waist size
- high levels of triglycerides in the blood
- high levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood
- high blood pressure
- higher-than-usual blood sugar levels or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes
Where applicable, doctors often recommend that a person
Losing weight can help a person reduce:
- liver fat
- liver scarring
A doctor might suggest that a person take the following steps to lose weight:
- making healthy food choices
- limiting portion sizes
- getting regular physical exercise
If a person loses
However, a person may need to lose 7–10% of their body weight to reduce liver inflammation and scarring.
There are currently no medications a person can take to treat fatty liver disease.
To diagnose fatty liver disease, a doctor will do
- take a person’s medical history
- perform a physical exam
- order imaging and lab tests
A doctor may ask the person whether they have a history of health conditions that may increase their risk of fatty liver disease. They may also ask about other causes of liver disease or fat in the liver.
Additionally, a doctor may ask a person about their alcohol intake to determine whether fat in the liver is a sign of alcohol-related liver disease.
They will also look for indications of fatty liver disease, including:
- an enlarged liver
- signs of insulin resistance, such as darkened skin patches over the knuckles, elbows, or knees
- signs of cirrhosis, such as:
- an enlarged spleen
- fluid in the abdomen
- muscle loss
Imaging and lab tests
Tests that doctors may use in diagnosing fatty liver disease include:
- Blood tests: A doctor may use blood tests to look for increased levels of the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which can indicate fatty liver disease. Blood tests can also help identify or rule out advanced liver fibrosis or scarring.
- Imaging tests: Doctors may use imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI to see whether there is fat in a person’s liver. However, these tests do not show inflammation, so a doctor cannot use them to confirm a diagnosis of fatty liver disease.
- Liver biopsy: During a liver biopsy, a doctor will take a small tissue sample from the person’s liver. A pathologist will then examine the tissue for signs of damage or disease.
Fatty liver disease can lead to serious liver damage, such as cirrhosis.
Other possible complications of fatty liver disease
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD): CVD includes a number of health conditions
that affectthe circulatory system:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma: This is the
most commontype of liver cancer. Medical professionals sometimes refer to hepatocellular carcinoma as liver cell carcinoma.
- End stage liver disease: “End stage liver disease” is another name for liver failure. This occurs when the liver
is losingor has lost all of its function. Liver failure can be life threatening.
To reduce the risk of complications, a person should contact a doctor as soon as they have any concerns about fatty liver disease.
- getting enough regular physical activity or exercise
- eating a nutritious, balanced diet
- limiting portion sizes
- making efforts to maintain a moderate weight
A person’s doctor can advise on more ways they can reduce their risk of fatty liver disease.
Here are some frequently asked questions about grade 2 fatty liver disease.
Is grade 2 fatty liver disease serious?
Grade 2 fatty liver disease can worsen over time and may lead to serious complications
- liver cancer
- end stage liver disease
Some of these complications can be life threatening. Seeking medical advice and starting treatment as early as possible may help reduce the risk of these complications.
What does fatty liver grade 2 mean?
Medical professionals grade fatty liver disease based on the amount of fat present in the liver and a few other symptoms.
If a person has grade 2 fatty liver disease, they will display:
- a buildup of fat in the liver cells
- ballooning of hepatocytes
- inflammation of the lobules
- inflammation of the portal vein
Is grade 2 fatty liver curable?
While there are no medical treatments to cure fatty liver disease, a person can reduce inflammation and the amount of fat in the liver
This can help reduce symptoms of grade 2 fatty liver disease and decrease a person’s risk of developing complications.
If a person develops an excessive buildup of fat in their liver, it may cause fatty liver disease.
“Grade 2 fatty liver disease” is the term for moderate fatty liver disease and its symptoms.
To treat grade 2 fatty liver disease, a doctor may suggest that a person lose weight. This can help reduce liver inflammation and the amount of fat in the liver.
It is best to contact a doctor for advice as soon as a person has concerns about fatty liver disease. The doctor can advise on treatments to help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.