Fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis means that you have extra fat in your liver that makes it harder for your liver to work. The most well-known form of this disease results from heavy drinking, but other variations of the disease do not involve alcohol.
Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) results from a metabolic syndrome that results in high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, resistance to insulin, and large amounts of belly fat.
Two types are simple fatty liver that causes no damage to the liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more serious condition wherein your liver is inflamed. The result of NASH is fibrosis, a scarring of the liver, cirrhosis, a more serious scarring that can lead to liver failure and death, or liver cancer.
Alcohol-related fatty liver disease or ALD results in enlargement of the liver that may cause pain or discomfort on the right side of your body.
SYMPTOMS OF FATTY LIVER DISEASE
Many people have no symptoms except for occasional pain or tiredness on the right side of the body where the liver is located. If you have NASH or get cirrhosis you are likely to experience:
- Swollen belly
- Larger than normal breasts in men
- Enlarged blood vessels beneath your skin
- Red palms
- Jaundice in the eyes and skin
While ALD is related to excessive alcohol use, why some people with NAFLD get simple fatty liver while others get Nash is unknown. Genes may play a part, but getting NASH is more likely if:
- You are overweight or obese
- Your body does not respond to insulin as it should or you have type 2 diabetes
- Your triglycerides good or bad LDL cholesterol is high or your levels of good HDL cholesterol is low
- You have metabolic syndrome characterized by a large waist size, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high HDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol that makes it more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Acquiring a disease is less commonly associated with:
- Hepatitis C or other infections
- Medical conditions that influence how your body uses or stores fat
- Fast weight loss
- Gallbladder removal
- Certain medications
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR FATTY LIVER DISEASE
If you have liver disease, your doctor might recommend lifestyle modifications such as losing weight or stopping alcohol use, along with periodic monitoring of your liver function and medication.
Depending on the seriousness of your problem, your doctor might recommend a panel of blood test called liver function tests, Imaging tests, or tissue analysis.
If your liver has been damaged by liver disease, you may need a transplant.
SCHEDULE LIVER FUNCTION TESTING AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
Liver function testing can help discern whether you have fatty liver disease, Contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule screenings with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.