What Are Some of the Common Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?
The condition of liver disease is a somewhat common ailment resulting from the storage of excess fat in a person’s liver cells. It can be caused by too much alcohol consumption but can also show up in those who drink very little alcohol. This disease may not show signs in its earlier stages but, if left untreated, can result in serious liver issues. At Colorado Gastroenterology, our gastroenterologists offer high-quality treatment for fatty liver disease. Read on while we discuss the typical signs and symptoms of the disease, how it can be diagnosed and treated, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in Denver, CO can be of assistance.
What are the common signs of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is most often sorted into two categories: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease. Being able to recognize the first signs of fatty liver disease is crucial for timely treatment and control. These signs may include:
- A swollen liver
- Unintended weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Tiredness and weakness
- High enzymes in the liver
In the event you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, or if you have other issues with your liver health, we encourage you to connect with one of our GI practices in Denver, CO.
How is fatty liver disease (steatosis) detected?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease typically involves a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and certain tests. Our Denver, CO providers often start with a discussion of your symptoms and your lifestyle, followed by a physical exam to screen for liver enlargement. A quick blood test will then help us evaluate liver enzymes and function, distinguishing deviances that could signify fatty liver disease. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests, such as MRIs and CT scans, may be used to help our gastroenterologists get a closer look at your liver and identify fat buildup. For some, a liver biopsy might be necessary in order to establish your diagnosis. Accurate and early diagnosis of fatty liver disease is crucial for determining suitable care and fatty liver disease treatment plans.
What treatment options are offered for fatty liver disease?
Our treatment of fatty liver disease will often focus on managing the underlying ailments and lifestyle elements that affect this condition. This could include one or more of the treatment methods listed below:
- Scheduled check-ups: Regular visits allow our team of GI specialists to study the progress of the condition and make necessary changes to your treatment as needed.
- Medications: Select medications might be prescribed to help manage any conditions that contribute to fatty liver disease, like diabetes or high cholesterol.
- Lifestyle modifications: These might include drinking less alcohol, maintaining a more nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and reaching a healthier weight (if suggested by your doctor).
A liver transplant may be advised in extreme cases, such as when extensive damage to the liver has occurred.
How might fatty liver disease change a person’s life expectancy?
Life expectancy with fatty liver disease can be affected by various factors, such as the form of fatty liver disease you have and how early on it was found. Without medical help, the condition can amount to a more significant liver issue, such as liver cirrhosis or cancer. With proper care, however, a good number of patients are able to manage their condition effectively and often experience a normal lifespan.
High-quality treatment for fatty liver disease in Denver, CO
If you or a loved one has been experiencing signs of fatty liver disease, please immediately seek out medical help. Our expert team at Colorado Gastroenterology is available to provide you with comprehensive fatty liver disease treatments. With a patient-focused technique, we aspire to help manage fatty liver disease and enhance your liver health. Take the first step toward improved health and wellness. Call your nearest location in Denver, CO to request a consultation.