Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Little Rock, AR

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There are a couple of different categories of disease for NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). The first surrounds a buildup of fat in the liver that causes no outward symptoms and has no coexisting inflammation. Usually, this type is found when other tests are performed. If this type of disease is affecting your well-being, your GI specialist will discuss the process you may want to take to preserve your liver from additional damage. This particular type of NAFLD is also considered non-cancerous, however, it does have the possibility to progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, commonly known as NASH.

The second type is more serious and is known as NASH. Like NAFLD, it is also described by the buildup of fat in a patient's liver in addition to inflammation. NASH is typically discovered in individuals who are overweight, are diabetic and have high blood sugar, and/or have high cholesterol. Unless treated, NASH can harm liver function and cause more health concerns.

NASH is typically diagnosed by the GI specialists at GastroArkansas or hepatologists who partner with other medical specialists to provide comprehensive care. For more information about the NASH treatment options in Little Rock, AR, contact our facility today.

Most patients who have NASH live without having symptoms. NASH may, at times, result in scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis. If NASH symptoms occur, they could involve:

  • Unintentional loss of weight
  • Everlasting fatigue
  • Pain in the upper right part of your abdomen

In the event that you have been diagnosed with NASH and find it's becoming hard to breathe, your legs are starting to swell, or you are unusually tired, contact your doctor right away. Our specialists at GastroArkansas can help provide care.

The precise cause of NASH is not known. Even though it might affect younger people, the condition generally occurs in adults. Additional risk factors for NASH could include:

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Being overweight
  • Hispanic or Asian descent (although it can be seen in anyone)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol that is high
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes
  • Post-menopause

If left untreated, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis may create other health issues, like cirrhosis, liver cancer, and in the end, liver failure. In the event the condition is diagnosed, managing your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol can help not just your liver, but, also, your entire body.

After you've been diagnosed with NASH, you will need to regularly see your Little Rock, AR gastroenterologist/hepatologist to monitor your liver. Treating NASH may include a combo of eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and sodium, and getting regular exercise. We will also need to address any previous conditions that may increase the risk and/or severity of NASH.

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What is the difference between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH?

NAFLD and NASH are both types of fatty liver disease. NAFLD describes fat accumulation in the liver, but with this condition, no damage is present. NASH is a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that also involves the buildup of fat in the liver, but where liver inflammation and damage, including scarring, are present.

How can you recognize the signs of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis if it does not produce symptoms?

While there may be no outward symptoms of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, you might experience fatigue or pain in the abdomen where your liver is. Generally, the first sign of liver disease, like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is when scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) occurs. Cirrhosis can cause several symptoms, including:

  • Itching of the skin
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Yellowish appearance to the skin and eyes
If left untreated, what health complications can occur with NASH?

Without proper treatment, NASH can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Liver fibrosis occurs when inflammation and scarring impact the liver. The scar tissue that arises can replace healthy areas (cirrhosis), which can cause liver function to diminish or stop entirely. Untreated, these conditions could end up causing liver cancer and, ultimately, liver failure.

Is it possible to reverse the effects of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?

If you are experiencing the early stages of NASH and have not experienced extensive damage to the liver, you may be able to successfully reverse the effects by making lifestyle changes, like healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight (if necessary). However, if chronic or more severe damage has occurred, the effects of the condition may not be reversible. Our Little Rock, AR gastroenterology team can provide more in-depth details and information regarding this disease.

Getting the medical attention you need to preserve your liver health and cut down on the impact of NASH can boost your quality of life. At GastroArkansas, our team is passionate about placing your health and wellness first, and we take a patient-centric approach to provide individualized service. If you have been diagnosed with this condition or are in need of a practitioner who offers NASH treatment in Little Rock, AR, call our office to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterology physician.

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I was nervous, it had been 1 month since my terribly painful episode. I felt this doctor listened and did not dismiss my bizarre episode. He was informative with some compassion shown towards me.

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