Is Fatty Liver Contagious? (Or NASH?)

With other liver-related diseases being contagious (like hepatitis), some people are wondering whether if a fatty liver is contagious or not. The same question goes about NASH – is it contagious or not?

And in today’s article, we’re going to talk about this, so that you have no questions left unanswered. And I will start by sharing the answer directly, then go a bit in depth if you need even more information.

Neither fatty liver, nor NASH are contagious. This means that they can’t be transmitted from person to person. If somebody in your family has fatty liver or NASH, other members of the family won’t “catch” it.

This doesn’t mean that multiple people in the same family can’t have either NAFLD or NASH.

These are caused by various factors, including genetics, being overweight, taking specific pills or having other health problems – so if the fatty liver disease is caused by a poor diet and chaotic way of living, more family members can develop it. But not take it from another person.

Why Fatty Liver Disease and NASH are not Contagious?

Since hepatitis is contagious and NASH means “Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis,” you might think that it is contagious as well. But, fortunately, it is not.

Both of these conditions – fatty liver and NASH – even though they affect the liver (and people automatically associate this with something that’s contagious), are not actually caused by a bacteria or a virus.

It is these microorganisms that could be transmitted to other people. And since neither fatty liver disease (NAFLD), nor NASH are caused by viruses or bacteria, they can’t be transmitted to others.

These are both simply characterized by a fat accumulation in the liver (with an inflamed liver as well in the case of NASH).

These fat accumulations are caused by obesity, diabetes or other factors that have nothing to do with transmissible diseases.

So even though in some cases, the exact causes for the fatty liver cannot be easily pinpointed (for example, it can affect thin individuals who are physically active and eat healthy), the condition itself is not caused by bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms and they can’t be passed over.

Therefore, fatty liver is not contagious. NASH is not contagious.

There are some doctors who claim that genetics pay a role here and some people are prone to developing a fatty liver… but this is not what contagious means.

But it does mean that if a member of the family develops it, their siblings and children might be more prone to developing it. This is not a proven fact though, just ideas that various liver specialists have – so it might not even be true at all.

It also doesn’t mean that if one of your family members has or had fatty liver, you will have it too.

In other words, fatty liver is a condition that is caused generally by poor eating habits, being overweight, not being physically active, having other health issues (such as diabetes) or taking different types of medicine.


It cannot be passed over, in any other way, to other members of the family, friends or strangers.

So at least for this worry alone – whether it is contagious or not – you can relax if you have just been diagnosed with a fatty liver, as you can’t pass it over.

You can reverse it, however – and my blog helps you achieve that by sharing a lot of useful articles on how to do it, so make sure to browse it and gather all that important information.

If you’ve just been diagnosed, I recommend starting here to start working on reversing fatty liver ASAP. Or you can simply get a book like the Reverse Your Fatty Liver and follow the step by step plan there.

Remember that being supportive (if a closed one has been diagnosed) or finding support from friends, family or even strangers online can help a lot.

The lifestyle changes that are required to reverse fatty liver are pretty drastic at first: but with the support of the loved ones or with external sources of motivation, it’s easier to do it.

If you don’t know what to start, I recommend reading about the best diet for fatty liver and the inspirational story on how I reversed mine.

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2 thoughts on “Is Fatty Liver Contagious? (Or NASH?)”

  1. Hi I so appreciate your information. I wondered if you have found research that says that NASH with fibrosis level 3 or even early stage cirrhosis is reversible. I have fibrosis level 3 and am terrified that it can rapidly progress to cirrhosis.


    • Denise, I personally believe that even high level fibrosis can be reversed. Just stick to your schedule, eat healthy, exercise and prepare for the marathon – it definitely will take you longer than it took me to reverse it since there was no fibrosis involved, but I am sure that if you act now and stick to it, your liver will heal itself.


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