Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Illinois
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What is NASH?
There are two categories of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): NAFLD and NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). The first involves a buildup of fat in the liver. It doesn't really have symptoms or cause inflammation, and is typically caught during testing for other issues. The second, more serious condition, is also characterized by a buildup of fat in the liver. It is, however, accompanied by inflammation. It's also commonly found in individuals who are overweight, have diabetes, and/or have high cholesterol. NAFLD does have the potential to develop into NASH if action is not taken.
The second is the more serious condition known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. It is also characterized by the buildup of fat in the liver that is accompanied by inflammation. NASH is often found in patients who are overweight, have diabetes or high blood sugar, and/or have high cholesterol. Without proper care and management, NASH can impair liver function and lead to other health complications. If left untreated, NASH can lead to liver failure and other complications.
Generally, NASH is diagnosed by a GI specialist or hepatologist who partners with the medical professional who provides your comprehensive care. For more information about non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and other liver diseases, contact your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, location today.
What are the symptoms of NASH?
Most people who develop NASH can live their whole lives without symptoms. However, it can sometimes cause scarring of the liver. This is known as liver cirrhosis. If you develop symptoms of NASH, they might include:
- Pain in the upper right of the abdomen
- Unintended weight loss
If you have been diagnosed with NASH and find it difficult to breathe, your legs are swelling, or you're unusually tired, we urge you to contact our office right away so we can provide help.
Who is at risk for NASH?
The specific cause of NASH isn't known. However, it typically occurs in adults who have risk factors such as:
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Asian or Hispanic descent (but the condition can affect anyone)
How is NASH treated?
If NASH is left untreated, it could lead to a variety of health concerns, including liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. When diagnosed, however, making changes to your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol can have a very positive impact on your liver and entire body.
After you're diagnosed with NASH, it's important to see your GI specialist at GI Alliance of Illinois regularly so we can continue to monitor your liver. Treating NASH often includes:
- Healthy eating
- Limited sugar and sodium intake
- Regular exercise
We will also need to address any pre-existing conditions that may increase your risk for NASH.
Improve the health of your liver.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with NASH, it's important to find the right care to help you maintain your health. At GI Alliance of Illinois, our GI specialists are dedicated to ensuring you receive top-notch care, as we take your health and wellness very seriously. We are proud to offer patient-centered services with the individualized care you need. For more information on NASH and how our Illinois locations can provide the quality care you need, request a consultation at your nearest location today.
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