Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will usually make a diagnosis of NAFLD based on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and blood tests. In particular, children who are obese and have higher-than-normal levels of certain liver enzymes on routine blood tests are likely to have NAFLD. Your doctor may order an ultrasound (a painless, non-invasive imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound) to confirm the diagnosis.
In some cases, your doctor may order a liver biopsy to see the extent of fat buildup and scarring, if any, in your child’s liver, which will tell whether your child has simple NAFLD or NASH.
Because NAFLD can progress to more serious conditions, once they make a diagnosis of NAFLD our doctors will monitor your child’s liver by several means, including periodic:
- Blood tests, to check how well your child’s liver is working.
- Physical exams.
In this way, your doctor will be able to tell whether your child’s treatment is working and also watch for potential signs of worsening.