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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) - Everything You Need to Know!

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Did you know that an unhealthy lifestyle and poor hygiene practices can increase your chances of contracting Hepatitis? Here's what you need to know. Hepatitis is a relatively common medical condition. However, the general public's understanding of it remains hazy. Most people believe it is a viral infection that can cause significant harm. However, Hepatitis is an inflammation or swelling of liver cells (Hepatocytes) that can have either viral or non-viral causes. 

The most common non-viral causes of Hepatitis include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Fatty liver
  • Certain drugs
  • Autoimmune disease.

What Is Nash?

Does Hepatic Steatosis, Steatohepatitis, NASH, Cirrhosis, Fibrosis, Metabolic Syndrome, Hypertriglyceridemia, and a slew of other unfamiliar terms make your head spin?

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis NASH is a particularly severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD is caused by fat accumulation in the liver. NASH occurs when this build-up causes inflammation and damage to the liver, resulting in scarring or cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the medical term for scarring. 

Symptoms And Signs of NASH

The liver is a vital organ that aids in removing bodily waste and is required for healthy digestion. Scar tissue or cirrhosis can develop when the liver sustains significant damage, necessitating extensive care and treatment. In addition, the following medical conditions can increase your chances of developing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes 
  • High Cholesterol Levels
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism

NASH is a progressive disease that causes fatigue, nausea, jaundice, and easy bleeding, telangiectasia (spider veins), and fluid retention. Make a tele appointment with a doctor to try to prevent the condition from worsening. The best online doctor may request blood tests to review your symptoms.

Early Diagnosis Of NASH

NASH can be a perplexing condition, and identifying it is not easy. However, NASH can be identified using a combination of the following criteria.

Using Medical History

The best online doctor will examine you for risk factors or symptoms such as:

  • a history of medical problems
  • higher consumption of alcohol (to rule out a diagnosis of Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
  • poor diet or eating habits
  • lack of physical activity
  • a family history of liver disease or NAFLD-related conditions
  • certain medications
  • feeling tired

Physical Exam

A physical exam is essential to check the signs of liver disease and the risk factors related to NASH, such as:

  •  obesity/overweight 
  • high blood pressure
  • an enlarged liver
  • fluid in the abdomen
  • dark patches of skin suggesting insulin resistance
  • jaundice

Medical Tests:

These are the following tests that determine whether or not inflammation exists and the likely Causes.

  • Examinations of the blood
  • CT scan using ultrasound
  • MRI\Elastography

Treatment and Prevention:

Simple Fatty Liver Disease (SFL) and NASH are treated by reducing the underlying risk factors. Losing weight improves the majority of the factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome. For example, simple Fatty Liver may respond to a weight loss of 3-5 percent of body weight, while up to 10% weight loss may be recommended to reduce NASH inflammation.

A good rule of thumb is to lose no more than 2-4 kilograms per week by:

  • Increasing your activity levels following your best online doctor's advice
  • Maintaining a healthy diet with smaller portion sizes. Be aware that rapid weight loss can exacerbate NASH.
  • The Mediterranean Diet is a healthy way of eating for almost everyone, especially those with risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome.

Follow your online best doctor's advice about alcohol; it can be good for the heart but stressful on the liver. If your cholesterol or blood sugar levels are too high, book a tele appointment with a doctor to get a medication prescription to lower them. There is currently no medication explicitly designed to treat NASH, though a few medications used to treat other conditions may also benefit the liver in specific populations.

New medication research is ongoing, so ask your best online doctor if you are eligible for a clinical trial. If cirrhosis is not treated and most of the liver is damaged to the point of no longer functioning, this is known as liver failure; a liver transplant is required. If your Fatty Liver Disease is caused by something other than Metabolic Syndrome, book a tele appointment with a doctor to get a consultation for the best course of action.

MYLIVEDOCTORS can help you get a NASH treatment plan! Consult, store, track, and share your medical records with the best online doctors, including ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, and liver biopsies. Set up a tele appointment with a doctor to ensure that you never miss an early diagnosis.

MYLIVEDOCTORS has health experts available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Download the MLD app now!

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