What Are Well-known Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a common condition represented by the amount of extra fat in a person’s liver cells. It can be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol but can also occur in those who consume very little alcohol. The disease might not exhibit signs in early stages; however, if left untreated, it can instigate worrisome liver complications. At Digestive Health Specialists, we deliver high-quality care for fatty liver disease. Read on as we go over the commonly known signs of fatty liver disease, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in Kansas City, MO are able to help.
Are there common signs of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is generally divided into two classifications: alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Knowing the beginning signs of fatty liver disease is vital for prompt treatment and control. Signs and symptoms might include:
- Upper right abdomen pain
- Liver inflammation
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Unintended weight loss
- Tiredness and feeling weak
In the event you have dealt with one or more of the above signs or if you have other issues with the health of your liver, we advise you to schedule an appointment with one of our Digestive Health Specialists locations in Kansas City, MO.
How is fatty liver disease (steatosis) discovered?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease generally includes a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and various other tests. Our Kansas City, MO providers typically start by reviewing your symptoms and lifestyle, then perform a physical examination to evaluate for liver enlargement. Performing a blood test will let us check your liver enzymes and liver function, identifying abnormalities that could be a sign of fatty liver disease. Imaging tests, like ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans, typically help our gastroenterologists get a detailed look at your liver and find fat buildup. For some, a biopsy of the liver may be needed to verify our diagnosis. An early and accurate diagnosis of this condition is crucial for determining proper care and treatments.
What treatment options are viable for the disease?
Our treatment of fatty liver disease typically focuses on controlling the root issues and lifestyle factors that cause this condition. This could involve a combination of the strategies listed below:
- Regular monitoring: Routine check-ups help our team of GI doctors observe changes in your condition and adjust your treatments as needed.
- Changes to your lifestyle: Lifestyle changes could involve avoiding alcoholic drinks, starting a nutritious diet, getting regular workouts in, and attaining a healthier weight (if overweight).
- Medicines: Certain medicines could be prescribed to you to help control the conditions that contribute to fatty liver disease, like diabetes or high cholesterol.
A liver transplant might be advised in extreme cases of fatty liver disease, such as when extensive damage to the liver has occurred.
How might fatty liver disease impact a person’s life expectancy?
Life expectancy with fatty liver disease could be affected by several factors, like the form of fatty liver disease and when it was diagnosed. If you do not get medical help, fatty liver disease could become a more alarming liver problem, like liver cirrhosis or cancer. However, with expedient care, a great deal of patients are successful in managing fatty liver disease and often go on to experience a typical lifespan.
Get care for fatty liver disease in Kansas City, MO
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of fatty liver disease, please do not wait to seek medical help. Our dedicated team at Digestive Health Specialists is here to support you with comprehensive fatty liver disease treatments. With a patient-focused process, we aspire to help manage this disease and elevate your liver health. Take the first move toward improved wellness. Reach out to a location near you in Kansas City, MO to request an appointment.