Knowing the Differences Between FLD and Liver Cirrhosis


Maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract is important for having great overall health, and one of the most vital parts of the gastrointestinal system is the liver. Located beside the stomach, the liver is responsible for several life-sustaining functions, including breaking down carbs, fats and proteins, creating bile, storing glycogen and minerals, excreting drugs and hormones, along with much more. However, if the liver is impacted by disease, it can produce a harmful impact on your general quality of life. Two of these conditions are hepatic steatosis and cirrhosis. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our exceedingly skilled staff of doctors in Indianapolis, IN work in conjunction with patients to find out about their medical needs and recognize any issues.

What to know about fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is a condition distinguished by the presence of adipocytes in the liver. This disease has a couple of main groups: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). Whereas AFLD attributes to excessive alcohol consumption, NAFLD could be prompted by obesity, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol, and it is the single most widespread kind of hepatic steatosis in the United States. It can be hard to know if you are experiencing a fatty liver condition due to the fact that the condition normally does not display any notable symptoms; however, it can be detected by our Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team via blood work, diagnostic imaging, or possibly a liver biopsy.

Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver

If you maintain a way of life that triggers impairment to the liver, you might one day get cirrhosis. The condition is defined by the formation of fibrotic scarring over normal tissue, which is eradicated in the process. Cirrhosis is not an illness that develops right away; rather, it is ordinarily a result of a long period of impairment to the liver, whether as a result of excess alcohol consumption or from a separate disease that stays untreated for a long time. Similar to a fatty liver condition, the first points of cirrhosis do not usually prompt symptoms to manifest. Nonetheless, symptoms of cirrhosis you could encounter as scarring continues to accrue are:

  • Tiredness
  • Orange or brown urine
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Jaundice
  • Water retention
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Memory loss
  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Problems sleeping
  • Bloating

These are just a few of the symptoms that might occur as cirrhosis worsens over a period of time.

Key differences between cirrhosis and fatty liver disease

Although fatty liver disease and cirrhosis both affect the liver, it's important to note a few main differences.

  1. Hepatic steatosis is distinguished by the presence of fat cells within the liver, but cirrhosis is the growth of scarring over normal tissue.
  2. Both classifications of fatty liver disease (AFLD and NAFLD) could cause cirrhosis when not treated promptly.
  3. Both diseases take a long period to form, but cirrhosis presents a considerably more serious concern.
  4. Fatty liver disease is significantly more widespread.

If you find out that you have either of these issues, it's imperative to get care as soon as possible. While both problems can be chronic, having your illness addressed and your wellness kept in check is essential for your well-being.

Protect the health of your liver

Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology is pleased to employ a highly capable group of trained doctors who have a thorough knowledge of the digestive tract and the essential parts that comprise it. We seek to understand your symptoms to the most exhaustive degree and offer innovative medical technology to provide you with the most accurate analysis of your illness. To schedule an exam, get in touch with our staff in Indianapolis, IN.