Your liver has a lot of responsibility; it cleans your blood, stores energy, and assists in food digestion. If fat has developed in your liver, it may not function as well as it should and can lead to other health issues. Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists, with offices in both Honolulu and Aiea, Hawaii, provides medical treatment for fatty liver disease to improve the function of your liver and your overall health. Call today or schedule an appointment online.
Fatty liver disease is a condition characterized by the development of fat in the liver. There are two types of fatty liver disease: non-alcoholic and alcoholic.
1. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: This type of fatty liver disease refers to the development of fat in your liver unrelated to alcohol consumption.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is common and affects up to 100 million Americans. Researchers are still investigating the cause, but theorize it may have to do with your diet.
2. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Heavy alcohol use taxes the liver and may lead to the development of fatty infiltrates and inflammation. Fatty liver disease is one of the first signs of alcohol-related liver disease and may lead to cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis.
Symptoms aren’t common with fatty liver disease so you may not know you have it without an examination from your doctor.
If your fatty liver disease does lead to symptoms, you may experience:
During a physical examination, your doctor at Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists may be able to feel an enlarged liver, which could indicate fatty liver disease.
To formally diagnose fatty liver disease, they may recommend blood tests, diagnostic imaging, or liver biopsy.
Treatment depends on the type of the disease. If your fatty liver disease is caused by alcohol use, Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists recommends you stop drinking altogether to restore liver health and prevent further damage.
For nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, eating a healthy diet and losing weight may reduce the fatty infiltration and restore liver function. Losing as little as 10% of your current body weight can significantly improve fat accumulation in the liver.
Hawaii Gastroenterology Specialists also recommends staying up-to-date with vaccinations to protect your liver from hepatitis A and B, which are viruses that affect liver health and function.
If you have concerns about your liver health, call today or schedule an appointment online with the gastroenterology experts.