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UPMC FLOW (Fatty Liver, Obesity, and Wellness) Clinic

If you have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), we can help.

Doctors at the UPMC FLOW are experts in treating people with this disease.

What Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

While most people link liver problems to drinking too much alcohol, one in three Americans have NAFLD. It occurs when large amounts of fat build up in the liver.

If doctors catch it early, you can often reverse NAFLD with lifestyle changes such as increased exercise and healthy eating.

NAFLD Risks and Symptoms

People who are overweight or have diabetes are at the highest risk for this type of liver disease.

Left untreated, people with NAFLD can get nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

NASH is a severe form of fatty liver disease that leads to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and, in time, liver failure.

You may not know you have NAFLD, as the symptoms can be like those of other diseases.

Common symptoms of NAFLD include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain, especially on the right side
  • Swelling in the legs

Fatty Liver Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors at the UPMC FLOW Clinic assess, diagnose, and treat people with NAFLD.

To confirm a diagnosis of NAFLD, most people will have a liver biopsy.

But at our clinic, we use cutting-edge, noninvasive imaging techniques. In most cases, these techniques let doctors diagnose NAFLD without the need for a liver biopsy.

These tools also help doctors stage your liver disease, which allows them to prescribe a treatment plan to meet your needs.

Sadly, there's no quick fix or cure for fatty liver disease.

To start, your doctors will suggest lifestyle changes to reverse NAFLD.

These changes include:

  • Stopping or limiting alcohol use.
  • Eating a healthier diet.
  • Restricting calories and sugar intake.
  • Working out.
  • Losing weight.

If lifestyle changes don't help your symptoms, the next step is to try weight-loss drugs.

And if that doesn't work, your doctor may suggest gastric bypass or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery as a last resort.

Why Choose the UPMC FLOW Clinic?

The doctors at the UPMC FLOW Clinic strictly focus on caring for people with fatty liver disease.

We offer:

  • A highly trained care team. Our doctors take a team approach to treating NAFLD, so you're sure to receive complete care. Your care team may include experts in endocrine diseases, heart health, liver transplant, and weight loss.
  • State-of-the-art technologies. At the UPMC FLOW Clinic, we use the high-tech equipment to diagnose fatty liver disease.
  • Advanced NAFLD treatments. If lifestyle changes aren't enough to reverse your disease, we offer the most up-to-date treatment options.
  • Convenient care. We work with UPMC endocrinologists so you can schedule liver treatment and metabolic checkups in the same place. And bloodwork and imaging tests happen in the same building, so there's no need to go elsewhere for all you care.
  • Cutting-edge research. Our doctors lead research on the diagnosis and treatment of fatty liver disease. Your doctor may suggest you take part in a clinical trial at the UPMC FLOW Clinic.