Is Fatty Liver Disease Curable?

Fatty liver disease is becoming a growing problem worldwide, impacting approximately 25% of the world’s population

When you have fatty liver disease, more than 5% of your liver contains fat. Without treatment, fatty liver disease can progress cause significant scarring — a condition called cirrhosis — and can damage more and more of your liver. 

If cirrhosis isn’t treated, it can cause several complications, including:

While there isn’t an FDA-approved drug treatment to cure fatty liver disease, Dr. Rohit Dwivedi at Sonoran Endocrinology offers numerous treatment options to manage your condition.

Understanding fatty liver disease

The most common form of fatty liver is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). 

Common factors that could lead to this form of fatty liver include:

NAFLD affects roughly 20-40% of Americans, but it’s usually missed until fat accumulation and inflammation increases, damaging more liver cells and causing obvious symptoms.

The signs of fatty liver disease

In its earliest stages, you can usually reverse NAFLD. At this point, though, it’s common to start having symptoms and barely notice them. 

As fat increases and causes more liver damage, symptoms can get more pronounced and hard to ignore. At this advanced stage, fatty liver disease is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Early signs of NAFLD may include:

Signs of the more advanced fatty liver disease called NASH often include:

To catch fatty liver disease as early as possible, you should visit us for routine exams and blood tests that detect problems before they progress.

Treating fatty liver disease

There may not be a cure for fatty liver disease, but you can get rid of liver fat, especially in the earliest stages of the disease. Two of the most important steps you can take involve weight loss and dietary changes.

Weight loss

If you’re overweight or obese, weight loss should be your first goal when treating a fatty liver. Whether you make dietary changes on your own, increase your daily exercise, or achieve weight loss with medical support, you can expect to see significant improvements in your liver and your insulin sensitivity.

Dietary changes

You may think you should cut back on fat if you have fatty liver disease. But, believe it or not, you should actually avoid refined carbohydrates. In fact, a study showed that obese adults consuming a high-calorie diet filled with refined carbs for three weeks saw more than a 25% increase in liver fat, but their weight only increased a tiny bit.

Instead, focus on a whole foods diet, such as a Mediterranean diet, that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish, seafood, poultry, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil. But skip the red wine and any other alcohol. You should also avoid excess calories, so eat in moderation.

Dr. Dwivedi also recommends getting regular exercise and taking certain anti-inflammatory medications to help improve your liver function. If you have fatty liver, he also monitors your condition closely to make additional recommendations as needed.

Don’t wait to protect your liver. Contact one of our offices in Surprise, Gilbert, Lake Havasu City, and Prescott, Arizona, by calling or booking an appointment online today.

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