SAN ANTONIO -- Fatty liver disease can be caused by drinking too much, but in many men genetics and diet can trigger the illness.
"There are a lot of untapped mysteries in the liver that we are discovering every day," said Dr. Fred Poordad, Chief of Hepatology at the University Transplant Center with University Health System.
Many of the newest mysteries is fatty liver disease.
"Once you hit a certain percentage of fat in the liver we consider abnormal, it can actually damage the liver through a mechanism of inflammation and the deposition of scar tissue," Dr. Poordad said.
Those most at risk for fatty liver disease include those who are overweight, middle-aged people, people with high cholesterol, and those diagnosed with diabetes.
"We see fatty liver much more commonly in the Hispanic population than many other ethnicities. Part of it is genetics and part of it is diet," said Dr. Poordad.
Right now there is do FDA approved for fatty liver, so you have to go all natural.
"Currently the treatment is to eat properly, have a weight that is metabolically favorable, and of course to exercise regularly," Dr. Poordad said.
"Coming to the doctor regularly allows us to help educate men in terms of signs and warning signs to look for, so they can catch things early enough before they turn into something more serious," said University Health System Physician Dr. Patrick Pierre.
Dr. Poordad added, "Most of the time we can make the diagnosis of fatty liver through imaging, blood tests, a combination of the two, and rarely do we need to biopsy someone to make the diagnosis."
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(© 2016 KENS)