What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a common condition that is characterized by a surplus of fat in an individual’s liver cells. This may result from excessive alcohol consumption, or it can even occur in those who consume little to no alcohol. This condition might not present signs or symptoms in its earlier stages; however, if left untreated, it might result in worrisome liver troubles. At Utah Gastroenterology, our gastrointestinal doctors provide experienced care for fatty liver disease. Continue reading while we review the common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease, how it can be diagnosed and managed, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in the Salt Lake City, UT area are able to assist.
Are there common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is most often split into two categories: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease. Recognizing the first signs of fatty liver disease is crucial for punctual treatment and control. These signs may include:
- Exhaustion and weakness
- Unplanned weight loss
- Upper right abdominal discomfort
- High enzymes in the liver
- Liver swelling
In the event that you are dealing with any of the listed symptoms or if you have additional issues affecting your liver health, we recommend you contact one of our Utah Gastroenterology practices in or around Salt Lake City, UT.
How is fatty liver disease (steatosis) diagnosed?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease typically includes a combination of reviewing your medical history, performing a physical exam, and conducting other tests. Our providers typically start with a review of your symptoms and lifestyle, followed by a physical exam to check for liver enlargement. A quick blood test will allow us to evaluate liver enzymes and liver function, distinguishing deviances that could be a sign of fatty liver disease. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests, like MRIs and CT scans, typically help our doctors visualize your liver and detect any accumulation of fat. In some cases, a liver biopsy may be necessary in order to verify our diagnosis. Accurate and quick diagnosis of this disease is necessary for establishing pertinent care and fatty liver disease treatment regimens.
What treatments are possible for fatty liver disease?
Our treatment of fatty liver disease typically focuses on managing the associated issues and lifestyle factors that are related to this condition. This may involve multiple of the approaches listed below:
- Lifestyle modifications: These may involve quitting alcoholic drinks, adopting a healthier diet, getting regular exercise, and reaching a healthier weight (if suggested by your doctor).
- Medications: Some medicines may be prescribed to help control conditions contributing to this disease, like high cholesterol or diabetes.
- Scheduled monitoring: Routine visits help our team of gastroenterologists track the advancement of your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
A liver transplant may be recommended in serious cases of fatty liver disease, including if a considerable amount of liver damage has ensued.
How can fatty liver disease affect one’s lifespan?
Life expectancy rates for fatty liver disease could be impacted by many factors, including the kind of fatty liver disease you have and when it was detected. Without proper care, it might become a more alarming liver problem, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. With appropriate care, however, many of our patients are successful in managing the disease and often continue to maintain an ordinary life expectancy.
Get treatment for fatty liver disease in Utah
If you are experiencing signs of fatty liver disease, please do not wait to seek out medical help. The dedicated team at Utah Gastroenterology is ready to provide you with comprehensive fatty liver disease treatments. With a patient-focused approach to care, we aspire to help manage fatty liver disease and improve your liver health. Take the first step toward improved health. Contact a location in or around Salt Lake City, UT to request a consultation.