Can fatty liver disease worsen or cause any symptoms?Gastroenterology
My mom was diagnosed with fatty liver disease after an ultrasound scan for stomach discomfort. Can fatty liver disease worsen or cause any symptoms? Any advice on lifestyle or dietary changes would be helpful. Thank you.
Fatty liver does not usually cause any symptom although may be related to upper abdominal fullness or discomfort. Majority of people with fatty liver were discovered incidentally just like in your mom's case.
The good news is 8 out of 10 cases of fatty liver remain stable for years without much problem. Many may not know about their condition until some form of heath check is done. Simple life style changes can help to slow down or reverse the fat infiltration at this point.
However, about 20% of people with fatty liver may progress to develop liver hardening which is generally consider irreversible. The liver may fail to function normally and develop fluid in the abdomen, bleeding tendency and leg swellings.
The greatest culprit in causing fatty liver besides genetic factors is excessive alcohol consumption. Other medical conditions associated with fatty liver are diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Weight reduction and exercise are the simplest steps to manage fatty liver.
Regular review on the liver enzyme may required to ensure stability of the underlying liver inflammation.
Dr Quan Wai Leong
MBBS, MRCP, FRCP, FAMS
#15 - 01 Singapore 329565
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