Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also called fatty liver disease, is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. It is the most common liver disease in children in the U. S., affecting 5 to 8 million children and adolescents.
Untreated, NAFLD can lead to liver damage by causing inflammation and scarring (fibrosis). It can ultimately lead to cirrhosis and liver failure, requiring transplant.
Not all the causes of NAFLD are known at this time but the disease is associated with genetics, dietary intake and obesity; dietary intervention and weight loss are currently the most effective treatments in reducing fat build up in the liver.
In all but the most advanced cases, weight loss through diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes reverses the damage caused by the disease. Bariatric surgery and medication may also be used in treatment.
Who we are
We are a physician-led team with special expertise in NAFLD that includes a registered dietician, a physical activity specialist, a psychologist, a nurse and a care coordinator.
What we do
We diagnose liver problems when blood tests and other indicators suggest NAFLD. When a NAFLD diagnosis is confirmed, we work with patients to help them make lifestyle changes, mainly in diet and physical activity, to reduce levels of fat in the body with the goal of eliminating excess fat in the liver.
We do this through supportive monthly meetings with different specialists.
- Appointment one: Patients meet with the doctor for evaluation and diagnosis. Together, they establish goals and set expectations.
- Appointment two: Patients work with the dietician to create a realistic, healthy eating plan to support the weight loss or fat reduction goals.
- Appointment three: The physical activity specialist helps each patient establish an appropriate exercise regimen.
- Appointment four: Patients meet with the doctor, again, to repeat lab tests, measure progress and evaluate the treatment plan.
Who we treat
The clinic is available to any patient who has been diagnosed with NAFLD, or is suspected of having the disease based on blood test results. Patients do not have to be seen by another CHOP doctor prior to contacting the NAFLD Clinic.
If you believe your child may benefit from the NAFLD Clinic, please speak with your physician about a referral to the clinic or contact us directly at 215-590-3630 (press option #1).