Fatty liver isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to heavy drinkers. In fact, many cases of fatty liver have no relation to alcohol intake. Meade Edmunds, MD, and his team at Edmunds Gastroenterology in Knoxville, Tennessee, have considerable expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of fatty liver, which doesn’t normally cause any symptoms until it reaches a more serious stage. To find out more, call the office today, or book an appointment using the online scheduler.
Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is a medical condition where fat accumulates in the liver cells. This typically is benign but may lead to chronic inflammation of the liver with subsequent scarring and possible cirrhosis.
Certain conditions are associated with fatty liver, including obesity and Type 1 diabetes. Patients with high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels are at increased risk of developing fatty liver.
Having medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and high triglycerides may lead to fatty liver. Heavy alcohol consumption may damage the liver through toxin exposure, but also result in the accumulation of fat within the liver. Certain drugs, such as vitamin A, valproic acid, and steroids, as well as pregnancy may also result in the development of fatty liver.
Fatty liver is typically asymptomatic, so you won’t be aware there’s anything wrong. The condition is typically found by radiographic studies and occurs as an incidental finding, which means it’s usually found during a routine screening or diagnostic test carried out for an unrelated reason.
In most cases, the treatment of fatty liver requires managing the underlying condition, such as reducing high triglycerides, controlling diabetes, or losing weight. Weight loss of about 10% of the total body weight may significantly impact and improve fatty liver. Other medicines have also been discussed in the treatment of fatty liver. Vitamin E may play some role, but the beneficial effects are not clear at this time.
Fatty liver is a clinical concern due to the possibility of developing severe inflammation, hepatitis, and subsequent cirrhosis, and in some cases liver cancer. In certain individuals, fatty liver may progress to cirrhosis and thereby require liver transplant surgery.
You may not be experiencing symptoms that indicate you have fatty liver, but having a checkup with Dr. Edmunds is a sensible way to take care of your gastrointestinal health. Call Edmunds Gastroenterology today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.
This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please consult with your primary care physician or a specialist regarding your symptoms.