What Are Some Differences Between FLD and Liver Cirrhosis?


Maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system is crucial for preserving your overall health, and one of the most important organs of the gastrointestinal system is the liver. The liver is in control of numerous crucial functions, such as metabolizing fats, carbs, and proteins, generating bile, storing minerals and glycogen, eliminating drugs and hormones, and much more. However, when the liver is affected by disease, it can have a negative effect on your general well-being. A couple of these conditions are a fatty liver and cirrhosis of the liver. At GI Alliance locations around the country, our exceedingly skilled staff of physicians work one-on-one with individuals to find out about their health needs and identify any illnesses.

Facts to know about fatty liver disease

Hepatic steatosis is an issue marked by the existence of adipocytes inside the liver. This disease has a couple of basic types: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). Whereas AFLD can be attributed to significant drinking, NAFLD could be prompted by obesity, type 2 diabetes, or lipid disorder, and it is the single most widespread kind of hepatic steatosis in the country. It can be hard to discern whether you have a fatty liver because the illness typically does not generate any obvious symptoms; however, it can be diagnosed by a GI Alliance physician near you through a blood panel, imaging tests, or sometimes a liver biopsy.

What are the symptoms of liver cirrhosis?

If you live in a way that leads to liver dysfunction, it's possible that you could develop cirrhosis. The condition is described as the development of fibrotic scarring on top of normal areas of tissue, which is destroyed in the process. Cirrhosis is not a problem that starts immediately. Instead, it ordinarily occurs after a long period of impairment to the liver, whether via heavy alcohol consumption or from another health condition that stays unaddressed for a long time. Similar to hepatic steatosis, the first points of cirrhosis of the liver do not often cause symptoms to show up. Nevertheless, several signals of cirrhosis you might experience as scarring worsens are:

  • Low energy
  • Memory issues
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Orange or brown urine
  • Water retention
  • Discomfort near the area of the liver
  • Jaundice
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nausea
  • Changes in bowel movements

These are only some of the indications that might occur as the disease progresses over the years.

Key differences between fatty liver disease and cirrhosis

Though hepatic steatosis and cirrhosis both involve the liver, there are a few primary distinctions.

  1. FLD is distinguished by the presence of fat cells in the liver, whereas cirrhosis is the development of scarring over healthy areas.
  2. Both categories of hepatic steatosis (NAFLD and AFLD) can cause cirrhosis if not addressed.
  3. Both conditions take many years to develop, but cirrhosis of the liver presents a considerably more severe concern.
  4. Hepatic steatosis is significantly more common.

In the event that you find out that you have either of these conditions, it's recommended that you receive care immediately. While both conditions could be long lasting, having your illness treated and your wellness cared for is important for your quality of life.

Maintain the health of your liver

GI Alliance is pleased to feature an exceptionally skilled staff of talented doctors who have a thorough understanding of the GI tract and the essential organs that make it up. We strive to learn about your concerns and provide the most precise diagnosis of your condition. For more information, or to book an appointment, get in touch with a GI Alliance practice near you.