Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
Treatment & Care
At Children’s Hospital Boston, we take a multidisciplinary approach to the care of children with NAFLD. Our Center for Childhood Liver Disease is one of the few centers with a dedicated team of specialists who are board-certified in pediatric hepatology.
There is no simple cure for NAFLD, so our focus is to prevent the disease from getting worse by:
- Encouraging healthy eating and weight loss.
- Controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels, if necessary.
- If your child has diabetes, maintaining tight control of blood sugar levels.
- Monitoring for complications. NAFLD can lead to the more severe NASH, which in turn can progress to cirrhosis. Our doctors will keep a close eye on your child to catch any complications early. For details, see Tests.
Some early studies suggest that vitamin E, an antioxidant, may have some benefit. However, it should not be seen as a substitute for weight loss, healthy eating, and physical activity.
Other specialists in the hospital can also help manage your child’s NAFLD. Dietitians in our Nutrition Department can work with you and your child to develop an appropriate diet plan that is specific to his likes and needs. Our doctors may refer your child to a specialist in the Preventive Cardiology Clinic’s lipid program for help with cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Under certain circumstances we may also recommend discussing surgical options for weight loss with the hospital’s Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program.