Information for the public

What happens if I have NAFLD?

Losing weight and exercising more can help people with NAFLD. Many people find that these simple changes can help NAFLD improve or stop it getting worse.

Alcohol doesn't cause NAFLD but drinking may make it worse. This means it is important to stay within the government's alcohol unit guidelines.

Can I carry on taking statins if I have NAFLD?

If you are taking statins you should carry on taking them unless your doctor tells you to stop. This is because although there is not any evidence that they can treat NAFLD they help with other conditions that people with NAFLD may have such as diabetes. There is also no evidence that people with NAFLD are more likely to have very rare statin-related liver problems than other people.

How often should my liver be checked for scarring?

NAFLD progresses slowly and it is difficult to tell whose liver disease will get worse. This means you will have to have check-ups to see if your liver is scarring. These will take place every 3 years for adults and every 2 years for children and young people. At each of these check-ups you should be given information about changes that you can make to your lifestyle to prevent your liver from scarring.

What happens if my liver starts to scar?

Adults and young people with scarring of the liver should be seen by a doctor who specialises in liver conditions. Children with NAFLD should already be under the care of a specialist. People over 16 years with liver scarring should be monitored for cirrhosis – you can read more about this in the cirrhosis information for the public.

The specialist may be able to start you or your child on treatments that can help. These treatments can only be started by specialist liver doctors. People taking these treatments should be checked after 2 years to make sure the treatments are helping.

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