Arlington Gastroenterology Services
Hamid Kamran, MD, FACG
Gastroenterologist located in Arlington, TX
Steatohepatitis, more commonly known as “fatty liver,” is inflammation that interferes with the liver’s functioning. When left untreated, fatty liver can cause scarring and other complications. At Arlington Gastroenterology Services, board-certified gastroenterologist Hamid Kamran, MD, FACG, helps you manage fatty liver through diet, weight loss, and lifestyle changes. To schedule an appointment at the Arlington, Texas, office, call or use the online booking tool today.
Fatty Liver Q & A
What is fatty liver?
As the name suggests, fatty liver means you store excessive fat in your liver. It’s normal for your liver to store some fat. When your liver cells store too much fat, however, your liver has to work harder and can become inflamed. When not addressed, fatty liver can lead to serious complications, including cirrhosis (scarring) and liver failure.
One risk factor for fatty liver is heavy drinking. However, you can develop fatty liver even if you don’t drink heavily. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a common diagnosis among people who have:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a potentially serious form of fatty liver disease, is most common among people in their 40s and 50s who have the above risk factors. However, it can affect people of any age group, and the cause isn’t always clear.
What are the signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Many people with fatty liver tolerate it with no symptoms. You may grow more tired than usual or experience some pain in your upper-right abdomen. This form of the disease is known as “simple fatty liver,” and it doesn’t necessarily progress to NASH, the form of the disease that can cause liver damage. Because of this, fatty liver disease often goes undiagnosed.
In the early stages of NASH, many people don’t realize anything is wrong. As NASH gets worse, and you experience liver damage, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Abdominal swelling
- Enlarged blood vessels
- Breast growth in men
- Red palms
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kamran if you have any concerning symptoms, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for NASH. He may check for fatty liver or NASH by using a blood test, imaging test, or biopsy.
How is NASH treated?
There are no medications that can treat NASH. However, with lifestyle changes, you can reduce the amount of fat in your liver and minimize damage to the organ. Dr. Kamran recommends:
- Losing excess weight
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding alcohol and only taking medications as prescribed
- Lowering your cholesterol and triglycerides
- Managing your diabetes and keeping your blood sugar under control
Developing these new habits can feel like a lot of work, but Dr. Kamran is here to help. To schedule an appointment at Arlington Gastroenterology Services, call or use the online booking tool today.