What Are Common Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease (steatosis) is a common ailment resulting from the collection of an overload of fat in an individual’s liver cells. This may result from an overabundance of alcohol consumption, or it can even show up in people who drink very little alcohol. The disease might not show signs or symptoms in the beginning stages; however, if left untreated, it can lead to serious liver complications. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, GI providers provide expert treatment for fatty liver disease. Continue reading while we explain the general signs of the disease, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in St. Louis, MO can help.
Are there common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is usually sorted into two classifications: alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recognizing the beginning signs of fatty liver disease is crucial for prompt treatment and management. Symptoms may include:
- Exhaustion and feeling weak
- Abdominal pain
- Unintended weight loss
- Swelling of the liver
- High liver enzymes
If you have dealt with one or more of these symptoms or have additional problems affecting the health of your liver, we advise you to schedule an appointment with one of our GI practices in St. Louis, MO.
How is fatty liver disease discovered?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease typically involves a combination of reviewing your medical history, performing a physical exam, and completing specialized tests. Our St. Louis, MO providers usually start with a review of your symptoms and lifestyle, then a physical examination to check for liver swelling. Blood tests let us evaluate liver enzymes and function, distinguishing signs that could signify fatty liver disease. Imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans, can help our doctors get a look at the liver and see the accumulation of fat. For some, a biopsy of the liver might be performed to confirm your diagnosis. Quick and correct detection of fatty liver disease is crucial for determining suitable care and treatment regimens.
What treatment options are viable for fatty liver disease?
Treating fatty liver disease generally involves managing the root ailments and lifestyle elements that are related to this disease. This could include multiple of the approaches listed below:
- Lifestyle changes: These could be quitting alcoholic drinks, eating a healthier diet, creating a workout routine, and reaching a healthy weight (if necessary).
- Medications: Certain medicines could be prescribed to you to help control the conditions that contribute to the condition, like high cholesterol or diabetes.
- Routine check-ups: Regular check-ins allow our team of GI doctors to study the progression of your disease and adjust the treatments as necessary.
A liver transplant might be advised in advanced cases, such as if extensive damage to the liver has developed.
How does this condition affect life expectancy?
Life expectancy associated with fatty liver disease could be influenced by a range of factors, like the variation of fatty liver disease and how early on it was diagnosed. In the absence of medical help, this disease could become a more significant liver condition, like liver cirrhosis or cancer. However, with appropriate care, many patients successfully manage the condition and often experience a typical lifespan.
Get treatment for fatty liver disease in St. Louis, MO
If you or a loved one have been experiencing signs of fatty liver disease, please promptly seek appropriate help. The expert team at Specialists in Gastroenterology is ready to assist you with cutting-edge fatty liver disease treatments. Using a patient-centered process, we endeavor to help you manage this condition and improve your liver health. Make the first step toward improved health and wellness. Reach out to one of our St. Louis, MO locations to request an appointment.