Physical Examination and Liver Function Tests
Your doctor will examine you physically to find out if you have an enlarged liver or spleen.
Also known as LFTs, liver function tests check the level of liver enzymes in your blood. In fatty liver disease, these liver enzymes are higher than normal.
Imaging and Liver Biopsy
Imaging tests include ultrasound, CT scan, and/or MRI scan. In fatty liver disease, imaging tests reveal excessive fat deposits in the liver.
Patients with NASH don’t have a history of alcohol abuse but may present with severe symptoms. Your doctor might recommend a liver biopsy as it’s the only way to find out if there’s inflammation and scarring in your liver cells.
Risks of Leaving Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Untreated
While ALD is both preventable and curable, leaving it untreated can lead to severe consequences. The most common risk is inflammation, permanent liver scarring, and cirrhosis.
Other risks of leaving ALD are:
- The veins inside your esophagus become enlarged;
- High blood pressure within the veins of the liver;
- Loss of brain function, and;
- In severe cases, patients can develop liver cancer and liver failure.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Treatment
There is no specific regimen for the treatment of NAFLD. However, based on the severity of your illness, your health care provider will recommend significant lifestyle changes to preserve your liver health.
Since resistance to the hormone that regulates glucose in the body, diabetes, high cholesterol, and a sedentary lifestyle are the most common risk factors for NAFLD, your doctor will recommend:
- A healthy, liver-friendly diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and whole grains;
- Moderate physical activity of at least 30-minutes a day;
- Weight loss in overweight and obese individuals;
- Weight loss surgery can be considered in extremely obese individuals;
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs that may have side effects on your liver, and;
- Liver transplantation in the case of advanced stages and cirrhosis.
Your doctor will also screen your blood for cholesterol and blood sugar during treatment.