Posts for: June, 2021
Summary: Without proper care, fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis, a health problem that damages the liver and may cause symptoms like jaundice.
Keeping a well-functioning GI system is necessary for having good total health, and among the most important organs of the digestive system is the liver. The liver is in control of various important operations, such as breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins, generating bile, preserving glycogen and minerals, excreting hormones and drugs, and many more. But when the liver is impacted by disease, it can have a harmful effect on your general quality of life. A couple of these illnesses are hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease) and cirrhosis. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our exceedingly experienced staff of gastroenterologists in Hinsdale, IL partner with patients to better understand their medical concerns and discern any conditions.
What is fatty liver disease?
A fatty liver is an issue defined by the existence of adipocytes in the liver. This disease has a couple of basic types: alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Whereas AFLD can be attributed to excessive drinking, NAFLD may be prompted by type 2 diabetes, obesity, or lipid disorder, and it is the sole most prevalent type of hepatic steatosis in the United States. It is hard to know if you are experiencing a fatty liver considering that the condition usually does not generate any obvious signs; however, it can be diagnosed by our Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates team via a blood test, diagnostic imaging, or sometimes a biopsy of the liver.
What is cirrhosis of the liver?
If you practice lifestyle habits that cause harm to the liver, it's possible that you could develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is marked by the development of scars on top of healthy liver tissue, which deteriorates over time. Cirrhosis is not a disease that starts overnight; instead, it is normally an effect of years of impairment to the liver, whether by excessive alcohol use or from another disease that remains untreated for many years. Similar to fatty liver disease, the early points of cirrhosis of the liver do not often cause symptoms to show up. Nevertheless, signs of cirrhosis you might encounter as scar tissue continues to increase are:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Gums that bleed easily
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain in the abdomen
- Dark urine
- Fluid retention
- Memory loss
- Irregular stools
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 primary differences.
- Fatty liver disease is defined by the existence of fat cells in the liver while cirrhosis involves the growth of scarring on top of healthy areas.
- Both groups of fatty liver disease (AFLD and NAFLD) could result in cirrhosis when not addressed.
- Both illnesses take many years to form, but cirrhosis of the liver is a significantly more serious concern.
- Hepatic steatosis is significantly more common.
In the event that you have one of these issues, you should receive care as soon as you can. Though both problems can be long lasting, having your symptoms managed and your health cared for is essential for your well-being.
Improve the health of your liver
Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates is glad to feature a highly capable staff of talented gastroenterologists who have a thorough knowledge of the gastrointestinal system and the life-giving components that make it up. We work diligently to find out about your concerns to the most exhaustive degree and use innovative medical equipment to offer the most reliable analysis of your illness. To learn more about improving the health of your liver or to schedule a visit, reach out to our team in Hinsdale, IL today.
Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
June Week 1 Blog
What Are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
As the second-largest organ in your body, the liver serves a number of critical functions, including the filtration of blood, production of bile, and processing of glucose. Sustained damage to the liver might lead to hepatic cirrhosis, which is where scar tissue takes the place of healthy tissue in the liver. Several health issues and liver problems have been known to cause cirrhosis, or severe tissue scarring, of the liver. A common condition, referred to as fatty liver disease, affects nearly one out of every four Americans and is on the rise.
About 20 – 40% of Americans have a fatty liver condition. If ever you or someone you love might be at an elevated risk for developing fatty liver disease, a diagnosis could help set you on the path to reverse the damage caused to the liver. The gastroenterology specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates routinely diagnose and treat fatty liver disease. Schedule an appointment with one of our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal (GI) doctors to further explore this serious but often avoidable health problem.
What are the types of fatty liver?
If a fatty liver condition is present, it indicates that there is an excess accumulation of fat in the liver. Even though a minor amount of fat in the liver may be of no concern, a fat constitution of larger than 5% could lead to liver cirrhosis and inflammation, which is medically known as hepatic steatosis. The two primary variations of fatty liver disease are alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Common risk factors for NAFLD
Drinking alcohol in excess can lead to an oversupply of fat in the liver. In instances where this buildup of fat produces scarring or inflammation, it is called alcoholic steatohepatitis. When people drink zero to minor amounts of alcohol, the risk factors for NAFLD include:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that results in swelling and damage to the liver is referred to as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This liver condition is on course to overtake the hepatitis C virus as the leading need for liver transplants among patients in the United States.
How can I identify the symptoms of a fatty liver?
Often, a patient who is affected by a fatty liver condition is not likely to show any noticeable symptoms or signs, especially at first. If symptoms are experienced, however, it could mean that there is considerable damage to the liver. Those indications can include:
Without proper care, a fatty liver condition in Hinsdale, IL patients could develop into cirrhosis, which can lead to complications, like ascites (fluid buildup in the abdominal area), the swelling of blood vessels in the esophagus, hepatic encephalopathy (impaired brain function resulting from liver disease), cancer of the liver, and liver failure. In the event that you or a family member is noticing these health issues, contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates and have a gastroenterologist can evaluate the condition.
Can a fatty liver condition be treated?
Generally, the most effective methods of managing hepatic steatosis commonly involve lifestyle changes. Those who are diagnosed with alcoholic fatty liver disease should avoid consuming alcohol, which could halt the advancement of a fatty liver condition. Avoiding alcoholic beverages is also advised when the patient’s fatty liver condition
does not stem from alcohol use. For patients having nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, decreasing body weight by at least 10% could substantially reduce liver fat accumulation. Consistent heart-healthy exercise may also minimize fat in the organ. Adhering to a healthy dietary intake can both manage conditions that are risk factors for a fatty liver, such as elevated cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, and lower the amount of fat in the liver.
Get specialized care for fatty liver disease in Hinsdale, IL
Fat in the liver might progress to life-threatening cirrhosis and the chance of liver failure in the absence of qualified care. In the event that you or your family member may have fatty liver disease, set up an appointment at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to get information on the methods used to manage and treat this concern. Our Hinsdale, IL team is made up of qualified gastroenterologists who prioritize the health and wellness of their patients ahead of all else.