What Are Some of the Well-Known Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a common condition represented by the storage of excess fat in the liver cells. It may be the result of excessive alcohol consumption, but it can occur in those who drink little to no alcohol. The disease may not present signs in the initial stages, but if left untreated, it may instigate serious liver troubles. At Gastroenterology Consultants, our gastroenterologists offer high-quality care for fatty liver disease. Keep reading while we discuss the typical signs of the condition, how it can be diagnosed and handled, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in Houston, TX can help.
Are there common signs of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is generally categorized into two classifications: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease. Knowing the first signs of fatty liver disease is important for prompt care. These signs could include:
- Swelling of the liver
- Exhaustion and feeling weak
- Unexplained weight loss
- High count of enzymes in the liver
- Upper right abdominal discomfort
If you have any of these signs and symptoms or have additional concerns affecting your liver health, we advise you to contact one of our locations in Houston, TX.
How is fatty liver disease (steatosis) discovered?
Diagnosing fatty liver disease may include a combination of learning your medical history, a physical exam, and specialized tests. Our Houston, TX providers typically start by reviewing your symptoms and your lifestyle, and then performing a physical examination to check for liver enlargement. Blood tests let us evaluate liver enzymes and function, distinguishing deviances that could signify fatty liver disease. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests like MRIs or CT scans allow our GI specialists to get a closer look at your liver and find the buildup of fat. In some cases, a biopsy of the liver may be needed to verify our diagnosis. An accurate and early diagnosis of the disease is essential for deciding proper care and treatments.
What treatment options are there for fatty liver disease?
Treating fatty liver disease will often focus on controlling the root issues and lifestyle elements that contribute to this disease. This might involve any of the strategies listed below:
- Lifestyle adjustments: This could include drinking fewer alcoholic drinks, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reaching a healthier weight (if you’re overweight).
- Regular monitoring: Frequent check-ins allow our team to monitor the advancement of your disease and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.
- Medicines: Certain medications could be prescribed to you to help control the conditions that contribute to fatty liver disease, including high cholesterol and diabetes.
A liver transplant might be advised in extreme cases, like when a considerable amount of liver damage has developed.
How does this condition affect life expectancy?
Life expectancy rates for fatty liver disease might be influenced by several factors, like the variations of the disease and how early it was caught. In the absence of proper treatment, this condition might amount to a more complicated liver condition, like liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. However, with appropriate care, many of our patients are successful in managing fatty liver disease effectively and often continue to experience a standard lifespan.
Find care for fatty liver disease in Houston, TX
If you or a loved one has been experiencing symptoms of fatty liver disease, please promptly seek appropriate help. Our highly trained team at Gastroenterology Consultants is available to provide you with comprehensive fatty liver disease treatments. By using a patient-centered approach to care, we aspire to help you manage this disease and elevate the health of your liver. Take the first move toward better wellness. Contact a location near you in Houston, TX to request an appointment.