Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Kansas City, MO
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What is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)?
There are two different categories of disease under the diagnosis of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). The first involves an excess of fat in the liver that causes no visible symptoms and has no coexisting inflammation. Typically, this disease is diagnosed when other tests are being performed. If this disease is affecting your well-being, our GI provider will discuss the process you can take to protect your liver from further damage. This particular type of NAFLD is also often considered benign, but it does have the probability of progressing to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
The second type is more serious than NAFLD and is called NASH. NASH is also defined by the buildup of fat in the liver in addition to inflammation. NASH is often discovered in people who are heavier set, have diabetes or have high blood sugar, and have high cholesterol. Without proper care, NASH can impair liver function and create other health concerns.
NASH can be diagnosed by a gastrointestinal provider at Digestive Health Specialists or a hepatologist who is partnered with another medical specialist to give you comprehensive care. To learn more about NASH treatments in Kansas City, MO, contact our practice today.
Are there symptoms of NASH?
A number of people who have NASH live their lives without any symptoms. NASH can, sometimes, lead to scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis. If symptoms of NASH occur, they may involve:
- Aching in the upper right portion of your abdomen
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Everlasting fatigue
If you have been diagnosed with NASH and begin to have trouble breathing, swelling in your legs, or are abnormally tired, contact your doctor as soon as possible. The GI providers at Digestive Health Specialists can help you find answers.
Who is at risk for NASH?
The cause of NASH is unknown. While it could affect younger people, NASH generally is seen in adults. Some other risk factors for NASH could include:
- Hispanic or Asian descent (however, it can impact anyone)
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- High cholesterol
- High blood sugar
- Adult-onset diabetes (type 2 diabetes)
- Post-menopausal phase of life
Can NASH be treated?
Without treatment, NASH could cause more health problems, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even, liver failure. In the event it is diagnosed, adjusting your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can help not just your liver, but also your body.
After being diagnosed with NASH, you should regularly see your Kansas City, MO GI provider/hepatologist to keep an eye on your liver. NASH treatments might include a combo of a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and sodium, and getting regular exercise. Additionally, we'll need to address any previous conditions known for increasing the risk or severity of NASH.
Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis FAQs
What is the difference between NAFLD and NASH?
NAFLD and NASH are forms of fatty liver disease. NAFLD is fat buildup in the liver, but with this variation, damage has not occurred. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a variation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that also involves fat accumulation in the liver, but in this case, liver inflammation and damage (including scarring) result.
Is the damage caused by NASH reversible?
If you are in the initial stages of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and have not experienced advanced liver damage may be able to reverse the effects of the condition by adopting lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight (if necessary). However, if long-term or more significant damage is observed, the effects of the condition may not be reversible. Our Kansas City, MO gastroenterology providers can provide additional information surrounding this disease.
How can you recognize the indications of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis if it does not cause symptoms?
Even though there may be no noticeable signs of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, you could notice fatigue or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen where the liver is. Often, the first sign of liver disease, such as NASH, is when scarring of the liver occurs, known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis may cause certain symptoms that you can watch for, such as:
- Swelling in the abdominal area
- Yellowish appearance to the eyes and skin
If left untreated, what health complications can develop with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?
Without proper treatment, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Liver fibrosis is a condition that occurs when inflammation and scarring impact the liver. This scar tissue can replace healthy tissue, called liver cirrhosis, which could cause liver function to slow or stop completely. Without treatment, fibrosis and cirrhosis may lead to liver failure and cancer.
Improve the health of your liver
Finding the attention you need to manage your liver health and cut down on the effects of NASH could help improve your quality of life. At Digestive Health Specialists, our GI providers are passionate about placing your health and wellness first, and we take a patient-centered approach to your care. If you have been diagnosed with the condition or are searching for a practitioner who offers NASH treatment in Kansas City, MO, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment with a GI physician.
I didn't feel the NP was interested in my issues. I have been ill for several months. And I was hoping to get some answers. She kept stretching and twisting in her chair when she was talking to me. Like she was trying to get her back to pop or something. I was there on a Friday on Monday I tried to call for questions I had and could never get to a nurse to speak with. Very discouraged. Kept getting the schedule line.
Very caring dr. She listens and not many drs do that now days. She truly cares about her patients.
Very direct. Short wait. Great staff.
Dr. Lucido was so kind and professional she explained what we should do to solve my problem. I would recommend her for anyone. Thank you Doctor!!
Hands down the best doctor I’ve been to. He takes the time to listen to your problems and explain his thought processes. I’ve frequently been told my symptoms were anxiety by other doctors who refused to look into my health problems more than a 5 minute conversation, not Dr. Tritsch. He will order tests to see if he can figure out The Why’s. I recently went in for a procedure being handled by someone else and Dr. Tritsch saw me walk in and dropped in to say hi and see how I was! He calls me with test results himself and explains what they mean and what options I have to choose from. I can’t recommend him enough, it’s rare to find a doctor who cares the way he does.