Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Thibodaux, LA

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There are two different categories of disease when it comes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The first disease involves an excess of fat in the liver that is not known to cause any visible symptoms and doesn't have any coexisting inflammation. Often, this is diagnosed when additional tests are being performed. If this condition is impacting your well-being, your GI specialist can review with you the steps you can take to preserve your liver from further damage. This particular type of NAFLD is also often considered non-cancerous, but it does have the potential to progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, commonly known as NASH.

The second type is more serious than NAFLD and is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. NASH is also defined by a buildup of fat in the liver that is accompanied by inflammation. NASH is typically seen in people who are larger, have diabetes and/or high blood sugar, and have high cholesterol. Without proper care, NASH can impair liver function and create more health problems.

NASH is most commonly diagnosed by the GI specialists at Digestive Health Center or hepatologists who partner with other medical specialists to give you comprehensive care. To learn more about the NASH treatment options in Thibodaux, LA, get in touch with your nearest Digestive Health Center location today.

Many individuals who have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis live without any symptoms. NASH can, at times, lead to scarring of the liver, which is known as cirrhosis. If symptoms of NASH occur, they might involve:

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

If you have been diagnosed with NASH and begin to have trouble breathing, swelling in your legs, or you are abnormally tired, contact your GI doctor right away. Our specialists at Digestive Health Center can provide care.

The precise cause of NASH is not known. Although it can affect younger individuals, the condition typically impacts older ones. Some other risk factors for NASH could include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Asian or Hispanic descent (however, the condition can be seen in anyone)
  • Obesity
  • Post-menopause
  • High blood sugar
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes

Left untreated, NASH could cause additional health issues, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even liver failure. When it is diagnosed, taking control of your weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol can have positive effects on not only your liver but also your entire body.

After being diagnosed with NASH, you should regularly see your Thibodaux, LA, GI provider to keep an eye on your liver. NASH treatments might consist of a combination of eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and sodium, and developing an exercise routine. Additionally, we'll need to address any previous conditions known for increasing the risk of NASH.

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What are the main differences between NASH and NAFLD?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are both forms of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease describes the buildup of fat within the liver. However, with this condition, damage has not occurred. NASH is a form of NAFLD that is also characterized by the buildup of fat in the liver, but where liver inflammation and damage (including scarring) have developed.

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

Though there may be no apparent symptoms of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, you may experience fatigue or pain in the upper right abdominal area (where the liver is located). Often, the initial indicator of liver disease, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is when scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) occurs. Cirrhosis may cause certain symptoms that you can detect, such as:

  • Itching
  • Swelling in the abdominal area
  • Yellowish appearance to the skin and eyes
In the absence of care, what complications might develop with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?

In the absence of care, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis can result in fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Liver fibrosis develops when inflammation and scarring impact the liver. The scar tissue that arises can replace healthy areas (liver cirrhosis), which can cause liver function to slow or stop entirely. In the absence of treatment, these conditions could end up causing liver cancer and, ultimately, liver failure.

Is it possible to reverse the effects of NASH?

Those who are experiencing the beginning stages of NASH and have not endured extensive damage to the liver might be able to reverse the effects of the condition by incorporating lifestyle changes, including proper nutrition, exercising regularly, and weight loss. However, if long-term or more extensive damage has developed, the effects of NASH might not be reversible. Our Thibodaux, LA gastroenterology providers can offer more in-depth information about this disease.

Getting the medical attention you require to maintain your liver health and minimize the effects of NASH could help improve your quality of life. At Digestive Health Center, our GI doctors are here to put your health first, and we take a patient-centric approach to treating NASH. If you believe you might have the condition or are in need of a doctor who offers non-alcoholic steatohepatitis treatment in Thibodaux, LA, call your nearest to schedule a visit with a gastroenterology physician.

Dr. Monier was very helpful and friendly. He explains things in a way that’s easy to understand. He doesn’t speak over your head about your condition which put me at ease immediately. I would recommend him and his wonderful staff to anyone.

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