Fatty Liver

George M Halow, MD, PA -  - Gastroenterologist

George M Halow, MD, PA

Gastroenterologist & Nutrition Specialist located in El Paso, TX

Fatty liver is a common, silent disease with few warning signs or symptoms. If you suspect you have fatty liver disease, George M. Halow, MD, PA, in El Paso, Texas, is a gastroenterologist who specializes in liver diseases, including fatty liver. He provides expert treatment and nutrition services to set you on the path to recovery. Find out more by calling today or booking a consultation online.

Fatty Liver Q & A

What is fatty liver?

Fatty liver is a disease in which fat builds up in your liver. The condition can be serious because your liver is an important organ that removes toxins and digests food.

Fatty liver disease comes in two forms: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD is the most common chronic liver disorder among Americans.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

This condition includes simple fatty liver where your liver houses some fat, but there’s little sign of cell damage or inflammation. Another more serious form, called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), may lead to liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

Alcoholic fatty liver disease results from heavy alcohol use, which can eventually cause inflammation and damage liver cells. Alcohol-related liver disease may lead to more serious conditions, such as alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

What causes fatty liver?

Although the exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver is unknown, it’s more commonly found among people with:

  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Infections, such as hepatitis C

You’re more likely to have fatty liver if you’re middle-aged or older. The disease is also more common in Hispanic individuals, followed by non-Hispanic whites.

With rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol in the United States, more and more people are contracting nonalcoholic fatty liver.

How is fatty liver diagnosed?

Because fatty liver produces few, if any, symptoms, you should see Dr. Halow for an accurate diagnosis. He begins by reviewing your medical history and asks about your alcohol use to determine if your condition is alcohol-related.

Dr. Halow looks for signs of fatty liver during a physical exam, such as:

  • An enlarged liver
  • A stiff liver
  • Symptoms of cirrhosis, such as jaundice, a condition where the whites of your eyes and skin turn yellow

He may suggest a blood count and liver function test. In certain cases, you may need imaging tests or a liver biopsy to determine the extent of damage to your liver.

How is fatty liver treated?

In cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Dr. Halow generally recommends weight loss to reduce inflammation and the fat in your liver. If you need assistance with healthy eating, the practice offers nutrition services for your convenience. He also recommends other treatment options designed for your form of fatty liver.

With prompt treatment, fatty liver doesn’t have to harm your health. Find out how Dr. Halow can help you by calling today or scheduling a consultation online.

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