What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Learn more about your options for treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Did you know that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is actually the most common type of chronic liver disorder in the US? In fact, as many asnon alcoholic fatty liver disease 80 to 100 million Americans have it. Have you or a loved one just been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? If so, our Wausau, WI, gastroenterologists are here to tell you more about this condition and what our team of specialist can do to help.

What is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
As you may be able to guess from the name alone, this disorder refers to a condition of the liver that causes too much fat to be stored in the cells of the liver. While many liver disorders are associated with heavy drinking or alcoholism, this condition affects those who do not drink alcohol or who drink very little.
What causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
Unfortunately, medical experts have not been able to pinpoint the exact reason why some people accumulate more fat on their livers than others; however, there are certain conditions and factors that have been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease such as:

  • Obesity or being overweight
  • High blood sugar
  • High-fat levels within the blood
  • Insulin resistance

 There are also some conditions and factors that can increase your chances of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease such as:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • High cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

What are the symptoms?
In most cases, people don’t experience symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Some people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may notice:

  • Abdominal pain in the upper right region
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite

How is this condition treated?
While there is no specific treatment for this condition, we may ask you to change your diet and current lifestyle.
If you are overweight or obese, this means helping you to lose that weight safely but effectively through creating a healthier diet and regular exercise plan.
In many cases, losing the excess weight will greatly improve the health of your liver. This may also include reducing or stopping how much alcohol you drink.
Periodic measurement of liver elasticity and liver function blood tests may be recommended to monitor the health of your liver over time.
Whether you have already been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or you are experiencing symptoms, the team at GI Associates in Wausau, WI, are here to provide you with the support and care you need. You don’t have to handle these issues alone. Call us today.