Learn about MASLD and what you can do to manage your liver's health.
MASLD stands for
Humans cannot stay alive without a working liver. A healthy liver is essential for well-being. Some fat in the liver is normal, but the amount should be less than 5% of the liver's overall weight. When the level of fat in the liver is over 5%, it is called a fatty liver (hepatic steatosis). Unbalanced diets and sedentary lifestyles are important contributors to fatty liver. There can be other causes for a fatty liver, such as alcohol. However, most fatty livers are created by diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors. When the main cause for a fatty liver is diet and lifestyle, the condition is called MASLD (formerly known as NAFLD).
MASLD/NAFLD often does not have symptoms and can easily go unnoticed. However, if the level of fat in the liver remains high, MASLD/NAFLD can develop into more serious conditions.
The fat stored in the liver can cause inflammation that leads to scarring called fibrosis. When fat causes inflammation of the liver, the condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (MASH/NASH). This scarring hurts the liver's function. When the scarring develops enough to cause severe problems, this is called cirrhosis. Unfortunately, the great majority of people with MASLD/NAFLD and even MASH/NASH have no symptoms of their liver disease. Some people can develop abdominal pain. Many people with MASLD/NAFLD and MASH/NASH experience excessive fatigue.