Fatty liver disease (also called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis NASH) is a common condition caused when extra fat is stored in the liver. Most of the time, it doesn’t cause serious problems. But when fat in the liver reaches unhealthy levels, it can lead to inflammation, scarring (fibrosis) and cirrhosis.

Fatty liver disease is common in individuals who have the metabolic syndrome with the following disorders:

  • Diabetes and insulin resistance. 
  • High blood pressure. 
  • Abnormal lipid panel. 
  • Increased size of the abdomen. 
  • Increased weight. 

It is also common individuals who’ve had a liver transplant.

It affects men and women as well as children and adults. 

It can cause:

  • Heart and cardiovascular disease. 
  • Cirrhosis of the liver. 
  • Liver cancer. 

Why choose Cleveland Clinic?

Our Fatty Liver Disease Program offers comprehensive, compassionate care for individuals of all ages who are affected by this condition. As a research-based institution, we are continually advancing the science of fatty liver disease to help provide better care for individuals with the condition.

No matter how old you are when you’re diagnosed with this condition, our experts provide an individualized treatment plan to help you meet your healthcare goals.

What We Treat

What We Treat

Fatty liver in individuals with metabolic syndrome

Having obesity along with certain other health conditions is the most common cause of fatty liver disease. Because of this, our team works closely with your primary care provider and a variety of other specialists to help create a care plan for you. These specialists are from a variety of fields, including:

  • Nutrition.
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy.
  • Surgical and endoscopic weight reduction management.
  • Pediatrics.
  • The Cardio-Metabolic Institute.

Fatty liver post-liver transplant

Fatty liver disease may recur or develop in about 50 to 70% of patients following liver transplantation. Our team works closely with experts from the Post Liver Transplant Fatty Liver Clinic to provide comprehensive care if you develop fatty liver disease after a liver transplant. 

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Gastroenterology and hepatology

Jamile Wakim-Fleming, MD, FACG, FAASLD, Hepatologist and Director, Fatty Liver Disease Program
Vera Hupertz, MD, Interim Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition


Daniela Allende, MD, A renowned expert in fatty liver pathology

Cardiovascular medicine

Dennis Bruemmer, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Cardio-metabolic Health


Krista Maruschak MS,RD, LD
Lisa Burnett, RD
Katherine Patton MEd, RD, CSSD, LD

Exercise physiology

Stephen Benesh, physical therapist

What to Expect

What to Expect

After you schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, your first visit to the Fatty Liver Program will include a physical exam, blood draw and imaging studies of the liver.

Your provider may also order a liver biopsy or additional tests to help determine a treatment plan.

Based on the test results, you may be referred to additional specialists who will help manage conditions associated with your disease. Together, we will create an individualized care plan for you.

Appointments & Locations

Appointments & Locations

To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, please call 216.444.7000. To schedule an appointment with a specialist at the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon, please call 440.695.4000.




Butts & Guts podcast episode: Dr. Jamile Wakim-Fleming shares insight into fatty liver disease and provides recommendations for managing the condition on a daily basis.

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