For those with liver cirrhosis from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, each pound lost is a step towards regaining your health, say doctors at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is now being seen increasingly in the United States as the obesity epidemic continues," said Dr. John Vierling, professor of medicine and surgery at BCM and director of Baylor Liver Health.

Cirrhosis is associated with dense scarring and regenerating nodules on the liver. It can result from a number of illnesses, including alcoholic and viral hepatitis, autoimmune and metabolic liver diseases. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease causes cirrhosis when a large amount of fat accumulates in the liver in the presence of damaging inflammation.

Reaching a healthy weight is one way to reverse damage to the liver. For many people the thought of having to lose 100 to 200 pounds is daunting, but Vierling said even losing 10 percent of your body weight can help the liver begin to heal.

"Losing a little weight won't cure the problem, but it starts the process of healing," he said.