What Are the Common Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease is a common condition characterized by the accumulation of excess fat in liver cells. It can result from alcohol consumption or in individuals who consume little to no alcohol. The disease might not show symptoms early on, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious liver complications. At GI Alliance, we offer experienced care for fatty liver disease. Read on as we explain the common signs of the condition, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in the United States can help.
What are the common signs of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is generally categorized into alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recognizing the early signs of fatty liver disease is essential for timely treatment and management. These signs may include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Upper right abdominal discomfort
- Unexplained weight loss
- An enlarged liver
- Elevated liver enzymes
Should you experience any of these signs or have other concerns affecting your liver health, we encourage you to visit one of our gastroenterology practices in the United States.
How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?
Diagnosing fatty liver disease involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and specialized tests. Our GI Alliance providers may start by discussing your symptoms and lifestyle, followed by a physical exam to check for liver enlargement. Blood tests allow us to evaluate liver enzymes and function, identifying abnormalities that may signal fatty liver disease. Imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI can help our doctors visualize the liver and detect fat accumulation. In some cases, a liver biopsy may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis. Early and accurate detection of fatty liver disease is essential for initiating proper care and fatty liver disease treatments.
What treatments are available for fatty liver disease?
The treatment of fatty liver disease focuses on managing the underlying conditions and lifestyle factors that contribute to the disease. This may include one or more of the following approaches:
- Lifestyle modifications: These may include avoiding alcohol, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and attaining a healthy weight (if overweight).
- Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to manage conditions contributing to a fatty liver, such as high cholesterol or diabetes.
- Regular monitoring: Continuous monitoring allows our team to track the progress of the condition and adjust treatment as needed.
A liver transplant may be recommended in advanced cases of fatty liver disease, such as when extensive liver damage has occurred.
How does fatty liver disease affect life expectancy?
Life expectancy with fatty liver disease can be affected by many factors, including the type of fatty liver disease and how early it is diagnosed. Without care, fatty liver disease can progress to more severe liver problems, like cirrhosis or liver cancer. However, with appropriate fatty liver disease treatments, many patients can manage the condition effectively and maintain a normal life expectancy.
Find care for fatty liver disease in the United States
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of fatty liver disease, please do not wait to seek professional help. The dedicated team at GI Alliance is here to support you with comprehensive fatty liver disease treatments. With a patient-centered approach, we strive to help you manage fatty liver disease and optimize your liver health. Take the first step toward better health and wellness. Reach out to one of our locations in the United States today to request a consultation.