Fatty Liver Q & A
Fatty liver disease is a common condition that can develop into serious inflammation, scarring, and liver failure. At the practice of Jan J. Shim, MD, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, and another office in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Dr. Shim offers evaluation and treatment for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If you’re at risk for the condition, call or book online now for an expert assessment.
What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?
In its earlier stages, fatty liver disease may not cause noticeable symptoms. Some of the first signs of fatty liver disease are fatigue and discomfort or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen.
If you develop scarring, or cirrhosis, of the liver as a result of fatty liver disease, you may experience:
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Abdominal swelling and pain
- Yellowed skin and eyes
- Weakness and fatigue
- Itchy skin
- Leg swelling
- Web-like clusters of blood vessels under your skin
Cirrhosis is serious and potentially life-threatening. Dr. Shim evaluates your liver through blood and imaging tests to determine the extent of your disease.
What causes fatty liver disease?
You may develop fatty liver disease if your body doesn’t metabolize fat efficiently or just produces too much on its own. Your body stores some fat in liver cells naturally, but if there’s too much, it accumulates and causes fatty liver.
You may develop fatty liver disease because of:
- Alcohol abuse
- High blood sugar and insulin resistance
- High levels of triglycerides
Rarer causes of fatty liver disease include pregnancy and hepatitis C. Some people are genetically predisposed to the disease.
What is the treatment for fatty liver disease?
Dr. Shim does everything possible to treat fatty liver disease and prevent cirrhosis and subsequent liver failure. If you do develop liver failure, you may need a liver transplant.
Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for fatty liver. No medications are approved for treatment. Dr. Shim can help you:
- Limit or avoid alcohol
- Lose weight
- Make dietary changes
A diet for fatty liver disease includes plenty of plant-based foods, such as legumes, fruits, and vegetables. You’ll want to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, such as sugary treats and white bread. Manage your fat intake to limit trans fats and saturated fats. When you do consume fat, make it monounsaturated types found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
Fatty liver disease is a common, but potentially deadly, condition. If you have risk factors or symptoms of fatty liver, call the office of Jan J. Shim, MD, or book an appointment using the online tool now.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.