John Vizuete, MD, MPH
Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX
Fatty liver disease affects up to 100 million Americans. While it often comes about as a result of an unhealthy diet, it can also stem from a more significant medical condition. John Vizuete, MD, MPH, in San Antonio, helps you develop both a symptom management plan and a preventive solution. Schedule an appointment today by phone or online to learn more about fatty liver disease.
Fatty Liver Disease
What is fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is the buildup of fat in your liver. The liver is the largest organ in your body. It’s essential to the digestion of food, the storage of energy, and the removal of nefarious cells from your body.
The two types of fatty liver disease are:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when the build-ups in your liver aren’t related to alcohol consumption. With nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, you can experience either:
- Simple fatty liver: buildups haven’t damaged or inflamed your cells
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: buildups cause inflammation and cell damage
Alcoholic fatty liver disease
Alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs as a result of heavy alcohol use. When you drink alcohol, your liver has to work overtime to break down harmful substances. If you consume alcohol excessively, you run the risk of severe inflammation and cell damage, chronic liver disease, and hepatitis.
Dr. Vizuete performs comprehensive liver testing to check the health of your liver. This test also allows him to track enzymes levels in your liver and identify any abnormalities. From there, he can determine which type of fatty liver disease is causing your symptoms.
What are the causes of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease has many causes.
In the case of alcoholic fatty liver disease, people who consume excessive amounts of alcoholic products run the risk of developing the condition.
Determining risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a bit more complicated. Nonetheless, you run the risk of developing NAFLD if you have:
- Hepatitis C
- Metabolic disorders
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Are overweight or obese
Dr. Vizuete will evaluate your medical history to determine your chances of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
How do you treat fatty liver disease?
No medication has been approved to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, so Dr. Vizuete works with you to develop a comprehensive list of lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate your symptoms. You might consider a weight loss regimen to reduce the fat in your liver and prevent further inflammation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with alcoholic fatty liver disease, Dr. Vizuete recommends that you stop drinking alcoholic beverages as soon as possible to allow your liver to heal. He can refer you to therapies to help you stop drinking.
If left untreated, both types of fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease. In extreme cases, cirrhosis can cause liver failure and require a liver transplant.
If you think you’ve been experiencing symptoms of fatty liver disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Vizuete today by phone or online.