How Serious is Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis?

Summary: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) results if there is excess fat in your liver. It can cause swelling and damage to the organ.

NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a condition that leads to liver irritation and damage from of an accumulation of fatty tissue in the liver. A form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this health issue might lead to scar tissue and concerning symptoms, including liver fibrosis. Our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists in Hinsdale, IL provide diagnostic services and personalized care for NASH and other liver issues. To hear more about this health issue and how it might be managed, we encourage you to read this post or set up a visit with our team. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our team is dedicated to helping you improve your gastrointestinal health and quality of life.

What factors contribute to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?

A critical organ, the liver assists in removing bodily waste and is necessary for healthy digestion. When the liver becomes significantly damaged, cirrhosis of the liver may arise, which typically necessitates the need for considerable treatment and care. Health conditions that might increase your risks for acquiring nonalcoholic steatohepatitis include:

  • Being overweight
  • Diabetic conditions
  • High cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid

A progressive condition, NASH may eventually lead to symptoms, like jaundice, queasiness, bleeding easily, telangiectasia (spider veins), abdominal bloating, and fatigue. In an effort to stop the condition from advancing, our gastrointestinal specialists in Hinsdale, IL may order diagnostic testing, review your signs or symptoms, and use cutting-edge imaging procedures, including FibroScan®, ultrasound, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), to identify fat content in your liver. This will allow our GI team to create a treatment plan that covers your medical concerns.

What are the various stages of NAFLD?

The four stages of NAFLD disease include simple fatty liver disease (also called liver steatosis), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. In the first stage of simple fatty liver disease, most individuals usually do not present symptoms and are often unaware that they are experiencing the condition. The following stage, NASH, is a more concerning state of the liver problem, which leads to inflamed tissues within the liver and may cause minor pain in the upper abdomen. When the condition reaches this stage, liver damage has occurred.

In some instances, individuals who have NASH develop stage three or fibrosis. If inflammation in the organ continues, scar tissue may develop, but often there is still healthy enough tissue to support normal liver function. In the fourth stage, cirrhosis develops, which compromises liver function. At this point, the body has a difficult time filtering waste, often leading to life-threatening liver failure.

How is NASH managed?

Among the important elements of preventing the progression of nonalcoholic hepatitis is to adopt new lifestyle changes. By following proper nutritional intake, healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and receiving care for underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid, people may considerably decrease the health consequences of this form of NAFLD. Likewise, avoiding alcohol, certain medications, or some supplements can minimize the effects this chronic disease has on the liver. Our gastroenterologists can provide suggestions on the most effective options to moderate the possibility of developing NAFLD (and ultimately NASH) and help halt the progression of liver damage. Dedicated to the highest standard of care, our team members work to ensure every person who visits Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates receives a personalized treatment plan curated for their unique condition.

Get help for NASH in Hinsdale, IL

Our GI team wants to help patients stop the advancement of NASH and enable them to live an improved quality of life. The liver plays a critical role in gastrointestinal health so we urge individuals throughout Hinsdale, IL to take a proactive approach to seek care for any type of liver problem. Schedule a visit with one of our experienced gastrointestinal specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to discover more information about this concerning liver concern, and how to prevent the disease from advancing.