You have been diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease. You’ve talked to your doctor, set up a diet and exercise plan, and set goals to follow.
So what happens next, as far as medical care?
Should you go home and shed the pounds, then not worry about seeing your doctor again until your next annual physical is due? Or should you realize that a fatty liver can be a serious health problem and one that your doctor will need to monitor as time goes on, for the sake of your health?
If you guessed the second option – see your doctor regularly – go to the head of the class!
Seeing your doctor on a regular basis for ongoing care and monitoring of your liver is of paramount importance to your overall health and well being.
Regular Doctor Visits
Having a fatty liver is seen as a “silent” disease – it normally shows no symptoms. To clarify, it does have symptoms, but these are often attributed to simple aging – a few more aches and pains, feeling more tired and having less energy.
A majority of patients discover they have the disease through a routine medical checkup.
After your follow-up, you should plan on seeing your doctor as often as he or she deems advisable. Your doctor will want to track your health, as well as do the appropriate blood tests and lab work, to determine if your liver damage is progressing.
By keeping an eye on the progression, or lack of it, your doctor will be better able to advise you regarding such lifestyle changes as diet, exercise and things you can to do to halt or reverse the condition.
If you aren’t comfortable with the doctor’s handling of your condition, you should find another doctor as soon as possible, because it is important that you trust your doctor and feel confident in your care and treatment.
To make the stakes even higher for your health, a fatty liver is often interlinked with Diabetes.
Along with physical checkups, your doctor will order various lab work and tests to show what is going on with your liver.
Tests and Lab Work for Fatty Liver Disease
Note that your doctor will state that you have a “possibility” of fatty liver. The only way to know for sure is through a painful liver biopsy, which is often unnecessary anyway – why show evidence when you can change your diet and lifestyle for the better anyway?
Here are some of the tests and various lab work that might be ordered by your doctor:
- Liver Function Test – These tests shows your liver enzymes and whether they are elevated.
- Imaging -Imaging tests may take a variety of forms, including a CT scan, MRI, and/or ultrasound.
- Biopsy – If your doctor suspects serious liver disease, you might have a liver biopsy to remove a sample of your liver tissue for testing.
Besides these lab tests and blood work, your doctor will probably weigh you and if you are overweight, advise you on a safe diet to help shed the excess pounds as extra fat is also deposited in your liver, interfering with its ability to function.
If you are overweight, expect to be stepping on the scale at each doctor’s visit.
Perhaps one of the main things to focus on is not so much your liver itself, but changing the lifestyle habits that contributed to your liver problems, as these changes will have a beneficial effect on every part of your health – including Diabetes and other interlinked complications.
Fatty Liver Disease can rob you of the glowing good health and abundant energy you were meant to have. So if you have it, work with your doctor to reverse it and start living the Good Life again.