What Are the Signs of Fatty Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a somewhat common condition resulting from the collection of extra fat in the liver cells. This can be caused by extensive alcohol consumption, or it may even show up in people who consume little alcohol. The condition may not exhibit signs in the earlier stages; however, if left untreated, it may instigate severe liver complications. At GI Alliance of Illinois, gastroenterologists deliver experienced treatment for fatty liver disease. Read on while we go over the common signs and symptoms of the condition, how it is diagnosed and handled, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in Chicago, Peoria, or surrounding Illinois areas are able to be of assistance.
Are there common signs of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is usually grouped into two classifications: alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recognizing the early signs of fatty liver disease is crucial for punctual treatment and care. Symptoms might include:
- Unexplained fatigue and feeling weak
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Upper right abdominal discomfort
- Inflammation of the liver
- Unplanned loss of weight
If you are experiencing the above symptoms or if you have additional issues affecting your liver, we suggest you schedule an appointment with one of our GI practices near Chicago, IL.
How is fatty liver disease (steatosis) diagnosed?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease generally includes reviewing your medical history, a physical examination, and specialized tests. Our providers often start with a discussion about your symptoms and your lifestyle, followed by a physical exam to check for liver enlargement. Blood tests allow us to evaluate liver enzymes and function, distinguishing irregularities that might suggest fatty liver disease. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests, like MRIs or CT scans, can help our doctors see your liver and detect fat accumulation. In some cases, a liver biopsy may be necessary so we can determine your diagnosis. Quick and correct detection of fatty liver disease is necessary for creating a proper treatment plan.
What treatment options are available for fatty liver disease?
Treating fatty liver disease will often focus on addressing the root issues and lifestyle factors that play a part in the condition. This could include any of the approaches listed below:
- Lifestyle modifications: Lifestyle changes might be avoiding alcoholic drinks, starting a nutritious diet, following an exercise routine, and attaining a healthy weight (if you’re overweight).
- Medications: Certain medicines could be prescribed to help control conditions that contribute to this condition, including high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Routine monitoring: Routine visits allow our team of GI specialists to study the progress of your disease and adjust the treatments as needed.
A liver transplant might be recommended in advanced cases of fatty liver disease, like when a considerable amount of damage to the liver has developed.
How does fatty liver disease alter one’s life?
It’s possible that life expectancy with fatty liver disease can be affected by various factors, including the kind of fatty liver disease you are diagnosed with and how early it was found. If you do not get proper treatment, this disease can progress to a more significant liver condition, like liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. With appropriate care, however, a great deal of patients are successful in managing the condition and often continue to have a normal life expectancy.
High-quality care for fatty liver disease in and around Chicago, IL
If you or a loved one has been experiencing symptoms of fatty liver disease, please promptly seek out appropriate help. The passionate team at GI Alliance of Illinois is here to help you with thorough fatty liver disease treatments. By utilizing a patient-centric process, we aspire to help manage fatty liver disease and improve the health of your liver. Make the first move toward better wellness. Reach out to your nearest location in Chicago, Peoria, Hinsdale, or a surrounding area to request a consultation.