NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) develops due to a buildup of fat in the liver. Without proper care, NASH can lead to cirrhosis and liver damage.
Often referred to simply as NASH, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a disease that results in liver damage and inflammation due to an accumulation of fatty tissue. This medical condition is a form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that can cause the formation of scar tissue in the liver and advanced health conditions, including liver cirrhosis. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our gastrointestinal (GI) doctors provide diagnostic services and specialized care for NASH. To learn more about this condition and how it can be managed, continue reading and set up a visit at one of our practices in the New Orleans, LA area. Our GI specialists are committed to helping patients improve their gastrointestinal health and wellness.
What factors contribute to NASH?
The liver plays a key role in healthy digestion and assists in removing waste from the body. When the liver is significantly damaged, scar tissue and cirrhosis may develop, which generally necessitates the need for considerable care and treatment. Health factors that could heighten your likelihood of acquiring nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are:
- Diabetic conditions
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep apnea
NASH is a progressive disease that may result in symptoms, such as upset stomach, bleeding easily, spider veins, tiredness, abdominal swelling, and jaundice. To help keep the condition from advancing, our gastrointestinal specialists in New Orleans, LA will perform diagnostic testing, assess any symptoms, and employ cutting-edge imaging services, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and FibroScan®, to identify fat in your liver. These tests will enable our team to curate a treatment protocol that covers your exact concerns.
What are the progressive stages of NAFLD?
The four stages of NAFLD disease include simple fatty liver disease, NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. During the initial stage of simple fatty liver disease, most people do not experience noticeable symptoms and often are unaware that they have the condition. The next stage, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, represents a more advanced stage of the disease, which creates liver inflammation and minor discomfort around the right upper area of the stomach. If the disease has progressed to NASH, cellular tissue in the liver has been damaged.
Sometimes, people who have this type of liver disease develop fibrosis (stage three of NAFLD). As inflammation in the organ persists, the formation of scar tissue may increase. However, there is often still enough healthy tissue to allow the liver to function. Cirrhosis occurs in the final stage of NAFLD, which compromises liver function. At this point, the body is unable to filter waste in a proper manner, which can cause life-threatening liver failure.
How is NASH managed?
Among the crucial elements of managing nonalcoholic hepatitis is to embrace new lifestyle changes. With proper nutrition, a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and the control of underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, you can markedly minimize the impacts of NASH. Furthermore, avoiding certain medications, some supplements, and alcohol can lessen the effects this long-term disease has on your liver and overall health. Our GI team can help you determine the most effective ways to lower your possibility of developing NASH and help prevent further damage to your liver. Dedicated to the highest standard of care, our team members strive to make sure each individual who visits Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates receives a tailored treatment strategy that caters to their specific condition.
Find care for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in New Orleans, LA
Our GI specialists want to help patients protect against the development of NASH and allow them to live an improved quality of life. Because the liver plays such an important role in your gastrointestinal health, our experts urge you to take a proactive stance on seeking care for any early symptoms of a liver problem. Schedule a consultation at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA to learn more about this life-threatening condition and how to preserve the health of your liver.