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Enlarged Liver
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Enlarged Liver

Once per year I get a physical. A year ago my blood work resulted with high fat in my liver.
I am not overwight and eat little fatty foods.  What can cause an enlarged liver?????  
Should I visit a Gastrontologist????      Thanks    Ms. Worried
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Avatar f tn
As far as I know a fatty liver diagnosis can not be made by bloodwork.  Did you have an ultrasound or a CT scan?  If your bloodwork shows elevated liver enzymes and you have fatty liver I would definitely see a hepatologist or a really good gastroenterolgoist.
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Avatar m tn
Some Causes of Fatty Liver

Excessive alcohol consumption
High caloric diet
Some medications -
Associated with diabetes and insulin resistance

You said that your "blood work resulted with high fat in my liver". My understanding is that labs alone are not sufficient for a diagnosis of Fatty Liver. Usually some type of imaging study is necessary. A liver biopsy is the definitive diagnostic test for Fatty Liver.
Labs can suggest Fatty Liver - elevated ALT is one possible indication. Elevated ferritin and cholesterol levels/ triglycerides are frequently seen in a patient with Fatty Liver. These indicators are not enough to make a diagnosis of Fatty Liver.

Yes, I would see a gastroenterologist or a hepatologist (liver specialist) and sort this out. While Fatty Liver disease is often not harmful it can lead to inflammation and eventually scaring so it should be looked into by a specialist.

This is from the American Liver Foundation

"Fatty liver is just what its name suggests: the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells. It is normal for your liver to contain some fat. But if fat accounts for more than 10% of your liver’s weight, then you have fatty liver and you may develop more serious complications.

Fatty liver may cause no damage, but sometimes the excess fat leads to inflammation of the liver. This condition, called steatohepatitis, does cause liver damage. Sometimes, inflammation from a fatty liver is linked to alcohol abuse; this is known as alcoholic steatohepatitis. Otherwise the condition is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.

An inflamed liver may become scarred and hardened over time. This condition, called cirrhosis, is serious and often leads to liver failure."

What causes fatty liver?

Eating excess calories causes fat to build up in the liver. When the liver does not process and break down fats as it normally should, too much fat will accumulate. People tend to develop fatty liver if they have certain other conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, or high triglycerides. Alcohol abuse, rapid weight loss and malnutrition may also lead to fatty liver. However, some people develop fatty liver even if they have none of these conditions – so everyone should know about it.

How is fatty liver diagnosed?

Your doctor may see something unusual in your blood test or notice that your liver is slightly enlarged during a routine checkup. These could be signs of a fatty liver. To make sure you don’t have another liver disease, your doctor may ask for more blood tests, an ultrasound, a CT scan or an MRI. If other diseases are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with NASH. The only way to know for sure is to get a liver biopsy. Your doctor will remove a sample of liver tissue with a needle and check it under a microscope.

See: http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/info/fattyliver/

Good luck,
Mike
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