What Are Well-known Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a common condition that is characterized by the amount of surplus of fat in a person’s liver cells. It can result from an overabundance of alcohol, or it can even show up in individuals who drink little to no alcohol. The disease may not present signs in the initial stages, but if left untreated, it may cause severe liver troubles. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, we deliver experienced care for fatty liver disease. Read on while we explain the common signs of fatty liver disease, how it is diagnosed and managed, and how our gastrointestinal specialists in Indianapolis, IN can assist.
What are the common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is often sorted 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. These signs may include:
- Unintended weight loss
- Liver swelling
- Fatigue and feeling weak
- Abdominal pain
- Elevated liver enzymes
If you experience multiple of the listed signs and symptoms or have any other concerns with the health of your liver, we would like you to contact one of our Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology locations as soon as you can.
How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?
The diagnosis of fatty liver disease typically includes a combination of your medical history, a physical examination, and specific tests. Our Indianapolis, IN providers often start by discussing your symptoms and lifestyle, followed by a physical exam to evaluate for liver swelling. Blood tests let us evaluate liver enzymes and function, distinguishing abnormalities that could signify fatty liver disease. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, often help our gastroenterologists get a closer look at your liver and see fat buildup. For some, a liver biopsy may be necessary so we can verify your diagnosis. Early and correct diagnosis of this condition is essential for establishing care and fatty liver disease treatment.
What treatments are possible for the disease?
Treating fatty liver disease commonly focuses on controlling the underlying conditions and lifestyle details that are related to this disease. This could involve any of the treatment methods listed below:
- Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes may involve avoiding alcohol, eating a healthier diet, creating a workout routine, and losing weight (if you’re overweight).
- Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to you to help control any conditions contributing to the disease, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
- Routine monitoring: Frequent check-ups allow our team of GI doctors to track the condition's progress and adjust your treatment regimen as needed.
A liver transplant may be suggested in advanced cases of fatty liver disease or if substantial damage to the liver has occurred.
How might fatty liver disease impact a person’s life expectancy?
Life expectancy rates for fatty liver disease can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as the form of fatty liver disease you have and how early it was diagnosed. Without care, fatty liver disease can progress to a more serious liver condition, such as liver cirrhosis or cancer. With proper treatment, a great deal of patients are successful in managing their condition adequately and often experience a typical life expectancy.
Personalized treatment for fatty liver disease in Indianapolis, IN
If you have been experiencing symptoms of fatty liver disease, please do not wait to seek out professional help. The passionate team at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology is ready to provide you with thorough fatty liver disease treatments. By using a patient-focused process, we aim to help manage this condition and improve the health of your liver. Make the first move toward better health. Call our team in Indianapolis, IN to request an appointment.