A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) system is essential for maintaining good overall wellness, and among the most fundamental parts of the the digestive system is the liver. Situated near the stomach, the liver helps ensure several important processes, such as producing bile, acting as storage for minerals and glycogen, eliminating hormones and drugs, and digesting carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with many more. However, if the liver is diseased, it can produce a negative impact on your total health. Two of such health issues are hepatic steatosis and cirrhosis of the liver. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, our exceedingly experienced staff of specialists in Jackson, MS partner closely with patients to gain an understanding of their health concerns and recognize any liver conditions.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease is a health concern distinguished by the presence of adipocytes within the liver. This disease has two primary categories: alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Although AFLD can be attributed to significant drinking, NAFLD may be caused by type 2 diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol, and it is the most common category of hepatic steatosis among patients in the United States. It can be difficult to detect whether you are experiencing a fatty liver condition since the problem generally does not present any noticeable signs. However, it can be identified by our GI Associates & Endoscopy Center team through medical imaging, blood work, or a liver biopsy.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Liver Cirrhosis?
If you maintain a habit that causes toxicity to the liver, cirrhosis could develop over time. Cirrhosis of the liver is distinguished by the growth of scarring over healthy tissue, which is destroyed in the process. Cirrhosis is not a problem that develops overnight, but it is usually a result of a long period of impairment to the liver, either via heavy alcohol use or from a separate health a condition that remains untreated over a sustained period. Similar to a fatty liver condition, the early stages of cirrhosis do not usually cause symptoms to manifest. Nonetheless, some of the symptoms of cirrhosis you might experience as scar tissue develops are:
- Swollen abdomen
- Memory loss
- Irregular stools
- Bleeding gums
- Orange or brown urine
- Discomfort in the abdomen
These are only a number of indications that might transpire as the condition intensifies over a period of time.
Key Differences Between Cirrhosis And Fatty Liver Disease
While fatty liver disease and cirrhosis both involve the liver, there are a few central distinctions.
- Fatty liver disease is identified by the buildup of fat in the liver; however, cirrhosis is the growth of scarring on top of healthy areas of tissue.
- Both classifications of hepatic steatosis (NAFLD and AFLD) may lead to cirrhosis in the absence of timely care.
- The two diseases take time to arise, but cirrhosis of the liver is a substantially more serious concern.
- Fatty liver condition is much more widespread.
In the event that you develop one of these liver problems, it's vital to obtain treatment as soon as you can. Though both conditions could be long-lasting, having your symptoms treated and your wellness maintained is essential for your quality of life.
Get The Care You Need For A Healthy Liver
GI Associates & Endoscopy Center is pleased to feature a highly capable team of trained gastroenterologists who have a comprehensive understanding of the GI system and the vital organs that comprise it. We work diligently to find out about your problems to the fullest degree and offer modern diagnostic equipment to offer the most reliable identification of liver illnesses. Contact our team in Jackson, MS today to learn more about fatty liver disease and cirrhosis or to schedule a consultation.