Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease clinic opens at UAB

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of chronic liver disease globally and is becoming the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States.

LiverClinicJoomlaMeagan Gray, M.D.The first non-alcoholic fatty liver disease clinic has opened at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The clinic, which sees patients out of UAB Hospital-Highlands, is run by Meagan Gray, M.D., an assistant professor of hepatology in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common disorder in which excess fat accumulates in the liver in people who drink little to no alcohol, and is typically caused by what people eat, according to Gray.

“It can cause significant damage to the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer,” Gray said. “It is quickly becoming the number one reason for liver transplantation in the United States and is the most common cause of chronic liver disease globally.”

The disease affects about 30 percent of adults in the United States. Gray says adults who are overweight and have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease are more at risk. Weight loss is currently the best treatment, which is why the clinic has partnered with the UAB Weight Loss Medicine Clinic.

“The advantage of having this new clinic is that, in addition to seeing me, the hepatologist, they also meet with a dietitian who will provide a tailored nutrition plan,” Gray said. “Patients also receive basic metabolic rate testing, which determines how many calories they are burning at rest so they know how many calories they can eat each day to be successful with weight loss.”

Gray says, so far, patients have appreciated being able to see the physician and the dietitian in one visit, as well as having access to additional weight loss services provided by the Weight Loss Medicine Clinic.   

The clinic opened in February and has seen more than 60 patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 205-996-4744.