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Fatty Liver Specialist

Fatty Liver

Fatty Liver services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or fatty liver, affects about 100 million Americans today. At Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, the leading gastroenterology specialists in the area offer help and hope for fatty liver disease in offices in Plymouth, La Porte, and South Bend, Indiana, with an additional office in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. Click the online scheduling link or call the office nearest you for help with fatty liver today.


Fatty Liver Q & A

What is fatty liver?

A fatty liver is one with more than 5-10% of fat cells by weight. Fatty liver disease is the condition that occurs when you reach that point. There are two main types of fatty liver disease, including:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

NAFLD occurs in people who don’t drink heavily. It’s most common in people who struggle with their weight, diabetics, and people with high cholesterol. But NAFLD can also occur in people with no clear risk factors.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease 

Alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people who drink heavily. Excessive alcohol intake over a prolonged period leads to fat buildup in the liver, which then results in alcoholic fatty liver disease. People affected by this disease may also have the same risk factors as those with NAFLD.

While they occur in different ways, both types of fatty liver disease may be preventable if you take care of your health.

What are the symptoms of a fatty liver?

Fatty liver disease doesn’t usually cause obvious symptoms unless it progresses to a more serious form. In up to 30% of NAFLD cases, the disease worsens until it causes liver inflammation, scarring (fibrosis), and replacement of healthy liver tissue with scar tissue, formally known as cirrhosis.

Up to 20% of alcoholic fatty liver disease sufferers eventually experience cirrhosis, and up to 35% develop alcoholic hepatitis.

If you develop symptoms, you may experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Leg swelling
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Confusion

These symptoms require prompt evaluation because they may indicate you already have a fatty liver.

How is fatty liver disease diagnosed?

High liver enzyme levels in a blood test is often the first sign that you might have fatty liver disease. At Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, the experienced providers use an advanced test called FibroScan® to check fat and scar tissue in your liver without a (more invasive) biopsy. FibroScan is a painless noninvasive test, with no anesthesia required.

 

How is fatty liver disease treated?

There aren’t yet any medications for fatty liver disease, but you can make positive changes to improve your health. This may include:

  • Weight management 
  • Cholesterol control
  • Blood sugar control 
  • Avoiding alcohol

Even losing a small amount of weight can improve your liver health, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, so it’s worth the effort. The highly trained specialists at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc can help to prevent and treat fatty liver effectively, so don’t wait to reach out. Call the office nearest you or book your appointment online today.