Symptoms, conditions and causes

Why does a fatty liver trigger arthritis?

There are different stages of liver damage: fatty liver, fatty liver with inflammation, and cirrhosis. Arthritis is inflammation in your joints. How does the inflammation get from the liver to the joints?

There are several mechanisms in play here. Liver fat creates cytokines, which are proteins that cause inflammation. The particular cytokines that liver fat produces increases systemic inflammation—or inflammation throughout your body.

These cytokines released by liver fat are why you can get inflammation in your joints and arthritis when you have liver disease.

To make things worse, cytokines can worsen insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes getting rid of fat very difficult and increases even more systemic inflammation. This is a feedback loop that gets worse and worse. When the liver is inflamed and filled with scar tissue, bile gets stuck. In turn, this can cause even more inflammation in the body and nutrient deficiencies.

Last updated: Jul 17, 2023 14:03 PM