Fatty Liver Disease in Utah
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What is fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease (FLD), also called hepatic steatosis, manifests in one of two primary forms: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic steatohepatitis. FLD is a disease whereupon fat forms in the liver cells. This might cause liver inflammation, which might, in turn, evolve into scarring and irreparable damage. If the condition goes untreated or is allowed to worsen, fatty liver disease can progress to liver cirrhosis and ultimately liver failure.
It is important to acknowledge the signs your body is sending you and contact a GI specialist at Utah Gastroenterology. Our highly trained physicians proudly provide individualized treatment for fatty liver disease in Utah.
What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?
It's possible (and common) for fatty liver disease to develop without any noticeable symptoms. A few of the signs you might notice, however, can include:
- Discomfort in the upper right abdomen
- Enlarged breasts in men
- Abdominal enlargement and swelling in the legs
- Feeling full in the middle or top right side of the abdomen
- Oversized liver
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Expanded blood vessels just below the skin’s surface
- Red palms
What are the causes of fatty liver disease?
The two most observed forms of fatty liver disease in Utah patients are non-alcoholic and alcoholic FLD. The causes of the non-alcoholic conditions are not known, but they are linked to obesity, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and increasing levels of triglycerides in the blood. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is ignited by consuming excessive alcohol.
How is fatty liver disease addressed?
Treatments for fatty liver disease will differ based on the form of the condition and how scarred the liver is. Generally, the liver is not at a critical state and keeps performing as normal. Even so, if treatment is required, your gastroenterologist at Utah Gastroenterology could recommend the following:
- Losing weight
- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations
- Minimizing alcohol use (if alcoholic fatty liver disease is present)
- Liver transplant
What is the difference between NAFLD and alcoholic steatohepatitis?
Alcoholic FLD and non-alcoholic FLD both have the potential to advance to cirrhosis and, in some cases, liver failure. The most significant difference between the two is that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is typically linked to having excessive weight and having diabetes. Alcoholic FLD is specifically associated with high volumes of alcohol consumption.
Find effective therapy for fatty liver disease
There is help for patients suffering from hepatic steatosis in Utah. Our compassionate gastrointestinal physicians aim to supply patient-centric therapy that maintains the optimal clinical principles. If you suspect or are diagnosed with this serious condition, schedule an appointment with our GI specialists and trust your care to Utah Gastroenterology.
Fatty Liver Disease FAQs
Are there any foods you should avoid if you have fatty liver disease?
If you have been diagnosed with or think you might have fatty liver disease, you’re likely open to embarking on a new health journey. Common foods you might avoid if you have fatty liver disease include:
- Sugary foods and drinks (such as candy, desserts, soda, juices, and more)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Fried foods
- White flour (including white bread and white pasta) and white rice
- Foods with added sodium
- Red meat (beef, pork, and others)
What foods are ideal to eat if you have fatty liver disease?
Those with fatty liver disease often benefit from what is called the “Mediterranean diet.” This diet includes a variety of veggies and fruits, whole grains (barley, quinoa, oats, brown rice, etc.), nuts, lean meats, and healthy fats (including avocados, peanut butter, olive oil, and more). Your GI provider at Utah Gastroenterology can help determine if a change in diet is ideal for your needs.
Is it possible to prevent fatty liver disease?
Our team suggests that patients pay close attention to nurturing their health and wellness, which could help prevent the onset of fatty liver disease. Maintaining an ideal weight, losing weight if necessary, exercising routinely, following a healthy diet, and limiting the intake of alcoholic drinks may reduce the risk of developing this condition.
What questions should you ask your doctor if you are diagnosed with fatty liver disease?
It is normal to have questions and/or fears after receiving a fatty liver disease diagnosis. Some questions you might ask your gastroenterologist include:
- Will I need to lose weight to help my liver to heal?
- Are any of my current medications possibly impacting my fatty liver disease?
- How much damage has occurred to my liver?
- Can the damage be reversed?
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