Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, commonly called NASH, is a disease that causes liver inflammation and damage due to an accumulation of fatty tissue in the liver. A type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this liver condition may lead to scarring and severe concerns, like liver fibrosis. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we are committed to helping patients improve their gastrointestinal (GI) health. Our GI doctors in Jackson, MS perform diagnostic testing and personalized care for NASH and other liver issues. To learn more about this condition and how it could be managed, we invite you to keep reading and contact our team to schedule a visit.
What Causes Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis?
The liver plays a key role in healthy digestive function and helps remove digestive waste. If the liver becomes seriously damaged, advanced scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) could develop, which generally requires long-term care and treatment. Factors that might increase your risks for acquiring NASH include:
- Being overweight
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep disorders
NASH is a progressive disease that may present symptoms that include nausea, bleeding easily, the dilation of small blood vessels, tiredness, abdominal bloating, and jaundice. To diagnose the condition, our GI doctors in Jackson, MS will likely prescribe blood tests, assess any signs or symptoms, and employ cutting-edge imaging services, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and FibroScan®, to identify fat content in your liver. This will enable our GI specialists to develop a plan to help manage the disease and protect the health of your liver.
What Are The Various Stages of NAFLD?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is generally diagnosed in four stages, which include simple fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. In the first stage of simple fatty liver disease, many people do not have obvious symptoms and often do not realize they have a fatty liver. The following stage, NASH, is a more concerning phase of the condition, which results in inflamed tissues within the liver and minor discomfort around the top right portion of the stomach. When the condition reaches this stage, liver damage has occurred.
In some instances, people with this liver condition develop fibrosis (stage three of NAFLD). As swelling in the organ worsens, scar tissue begins to replace normal tissue, but enough healthy tissue often still exists to maintain liver function. In the fourth stage, cirrhosis develops, which prevents the liver from functioning properly. As a result, the body is unable to filter waste in a proper manner, often leading to life-threatening liver failure.
How Is NASH Managed?
One of the essential aspects of managing nonalcoholic hepatitis is to implement new lifestyle behaviors. By following ideal nutrition, healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and receiving care for other medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, individuals can markedly decrease the health consequences of this form of NAFLD. Additionally, avoiding alcohol, certain medications, or some supplements can lessen the impact this progressive condition has on your liver and general wellness.
Our gastroenterologists can explain how you might reduce your chances of developing NASH and halt the progression of liver damage. With the utmost care in mind, we work to make certain every individual who visits GI Associates & Endoscopy Center gets a customized treatment plan curated for their specific condition.
Find Help For Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis In Jackson, MS
Our gastroenterology team wishes to help patients stop the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and enable them to experience long-term liver health. Since your liver plays an integral role in your digestive health, our experts encourage you to take a preventive stance on seeking care for any early signs of a liver problem.
Book a visit with one of the gastroenterologists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center in Jackson, MS to learn more about NASH, and help prevent the disease from further impacting your health.