Fatty Liver Disease in San Antonio, TX

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What is fatty liver disease?

There are two main types of hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease): non-alcoholic (NAFLD) and alcoholic steatohepatitis (alcoholic fatty liver disease). Fatty liver disease (FLD) is a condition in which fat forms in the liver cells. This can create liver inflammation, otherwise known as hepatitis, which could evolve into scarring and permanent damage. If the disease increases in severity, or if it's left untreated, FLD can develop into liver cirrhosis, medically known as hepatic cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure.

It is important to take note of the signals your body sends you and contact a gastrointestinal specialist at your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location. Our skilled specialists proudly offer patient-centered care for fatty liver disease in San Antonio, TX.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

Hepatic steatosis often appears in the body with no symptoms. Some symptoms that may show up, however, include:

  • Oversized blood vessels just under the skin’s surface
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Oversized breasts in men
  • Expanded liver
  • Exhaustion
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Discomfort in the upper right abdomen
  • Abdominal swelling and puffiness in the legs
  • Red palms
  • The feeling of fullness in the center or top right side of the abdomen

What causes fatty liver disease?

There are a couple of types of fatty liver disease among San Antonio, TX patients, with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic fatty liver disease being the primary two. The causes of the non-alcoholic conditions are unknown, but they are linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia, and high levels of lipids in the blood. Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) is brought on by drinking excessive alcohol.

How is fatty liver disease treated?

Treatments vary depending on the kind of FLD and how damaged the liver is. Oftentimes, the liver is not in a critical state and remains functioning as normal. However, if treatment is necessary, your GI specialist at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates may suggest the following:

  • Losing weight
  • Minimizing alcohol use, if AFLD is present
  • Hepatitis A and B vaccinations
  • Liver transplant
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What is the difference between NAFLD and alcoholic steatohepatitis?

Both NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver (alcoholic steatohepatitis) may progress to cirrhosis and possibly liver failure. The main difference separating the two is that NAFLD is routinely related to people who are overweight or who have diabetes. Alcoholic steatohepatitis is exclusively associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

Find effective care for fatty liver disease

For patients dealing with fatty liver disease in San Antonio, TX, there is promise and treatment available. Our network of gastrointestinal providers aims to offer patient-centered therapy that sustains the maximum clinical standards. If you suspect you have or are diagnosed with this serious condition, connect with our GI providers and place your trust in San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates.

Are there any foods I should avoid eating if I have fatty liver disease?

If you were diagnosed with or suspect you have fatty liver disease, you may be open to taking steps toward a new wellness journey. Some foods and beverages you might want to steer clear of if you have fatty liver disease include:

  • Sugary foods and drinks (including candy, cookies and cake, sugary drinks, and others)
  • Foods with added sodium
  • White flour (including white bread and white pasta) and white rice
  • Red meat (hamburgers, steak, and more)
  • Fried food
  • Alcohol
What food is ideal to eat when you have fatty liver disease?

Those with fatty liver disease often consider following what is called the “Mediterranean diet.” This diet incorporates several fruits and veggies, whole grains, a variety of nuts, lean meats, and healthy fats (including avocados). Your GI provider at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates will be able to help you determine if a special diet will be beneficial.

Can I prevent fatty liver disease?

We suggest that our patients concentrate on nurturing their long-term health, which, in turn, may help them avoid fatty liver disease. Maintaining a healthy weight or starting to lose weight if considered overweight or obese, exercising regularly, keeping up with a nutritious diet, and limiting alcoholic drinks may help reduce their risk of developing this condition.

What are some questions I should ask my physician if I am diagnosed with fatty liver disease?

If you have just been diagnosed with fatty liver disease, it’s only natural to have questions and concerns. Some questions to ask your gastroenterologist are:

  • Are any of my daily medications possibly impacting my fatty liver disease?
  • How much damage has occurred to my liver and can it go away?
  • Can losing weight improve my liver health?

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