Does Fatty Liver Disease Cause Cirrhosis?
A healthy digestive tract is important when it comes to how your body functions, and among the most vital organs of the gastrointestinal system is the liver. Located by the stomach, the liver is responsible for various essential functions, including breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins, making bile, preserving glycogen and minerals, eliminating drugs and hormones, and much more. However, when the liver is impacted by disease, it can carry out a harmful result on your total quality of life. A couple of these conditions are a fatty liver and cirrhosis. At Arizona Digestive Health, our exceedingly proficient group of physicians in Phoenix, AZ partners with patients to find out about their health needs and discern any illnesses.
What to know about fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease is a problem characterized by the existence of fat cells within the liver. This disease has a couple of main classifications: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). While AFLD is caused by heavy drinking, NAFLD can be prompted by obesity, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol, and it is the sole most widespread form of hepatic steatosis in the United States. It is tough to discern whether you are experiencing a fatty liver considering that the illness generally does not produce any noticeable effects; however, it can be diagnosed by our Arizona Digestive Health team through a blood panel, imaging tests, or possibly a biopsy of the liver.
Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol
If you keep a routine that produces harm to the liver, it's possible that you could develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is characterized as the growth of tissue scarring on top of normal areas of tissue, which is replaced over time. Cirrhosis is not a disease that develops immediately, but it is usually an effect of a long period of injury to the liver, whether via heavy alcohol use or from another condition that remains unaddressed for many years. Comparable with hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease), the early phases of cirrhosis do not typically cause signs to show up. Nevertheless, symptoms of cirrhosis you might experience as scarring continues to accumulate include:
- Bleeding gums
- Changes in bowel movements
- Pain in the abdomen
- Difficulty sleeping
- Darker than normal urine
- Lack of energy
- Memory problems
These are just a handful of the effects that may develop as cirrhosis of the liver intensifies over time.
Key differences between cirrhosis and fatty liver disease
Whereas fatty liver disease and cirrhosis both affect the liver, there are several primary distinctions.
- Hepatic steatosis is defined by the presence of fat cells within the liver while cirrhosis is the formation of scar tissue over normal tissue.
- Both types of hepatic steatosis (NAFLD and AFLD) can result in cirrhosis if not treated in a timely manner.
- The two illnesses take years to develop, but cirrhosis of the liver warrants a considerably more serious issue.
- Hepatic steatosis is much more prevalent.
If you have one of these issues, it's important to obtain treatment as soon as possible. While both problems can be long term, having your illness addressed and your wellness maintained is important for your quality of life.
Learn about your liver health
Arizona Digestive Health is proud to feature a highly qualified group of trained gastroenterologists who have a comprehensive understanding of the gastrointestinal system and the vital organs that comprise it. We work hard to learn about your concerns to the most exhaustive extent and offer innovative medical technology to offer the most accurate analysis of your illness. Reach out to our staff in Phoenix, AZ today to schedule an exam and learn more about your liver health.