October is Liver Awareness Month, and it celebrates and creates awareness for the body’s second-largest organ. The liver filters everything we eat and drink, performing over 500 vital functions for the body. The health of your liver is essential in the overall health of your body. However, many diseases affect the liver that show no initial symptoms. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease shows no noticeable signs at first. If left untreated, fatty liver disease can progress to NASH, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. By watching your health now and knowing your risks, you can help slow or reduce liver disease progression. Fibroscan is a technology helping to identify early liver disease. Please keep reading to learn more about it and whether you need one or not.
A liver biopsy was the standard way liver disease was measured in the past. This involved a needle being inserted into the liver to remove a sample of it. Although the procedure is mostly done in an outpatient procedure setting, it is still considered invasive. There is preop involved, and recovery time after, along with some mild pain and discomfort. Fibroscan technology uses ultrasound waves to measure the stiffness of the liver. The appointment is only about 15 minutes, and there is no pain, no recovery time, and no invasiveness.
Your Risk Level is your Guide
Liver disease symptoms aren’t always apparent. Your risk level is your guide to knowing when to talk with your doctor about checking your liver health. Without proper intervention and treatment, liver disease complications can result in liver failure, which is a life-threatening condition. Risk factors for liver disease include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Type 2 diabetes
- Intravenous drug use
- Family history of liver disease
Treating liver disease depends on the type and severity of the condition. Some may improve with lifestyle modifications like losing weight or stopping alcohol. Others may require medications or need surgical intervention. Here at DGDC, we specialize in endocrine health, including the use of fibroscan technology to detect, monitor, and help treat liver disease. Our facility also conducts clinical research studies looking into potential new options for liver diseases and other endocrine disorders. To learn more about how you can get involved in our research studies, or to set up an appointment to assess your liver risk, please call (210) 614- 8612.