Manage Your Liver
Q:

What treatment options does NASH patients have?

A:

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH is a type of non-communicable disease (NCD), also known as “lifestyle disease”. This type of disease is preventable and the most common causes are smoking, alcohol abuse, unbalanced diets and lack of physical activity.[2] NASH is similar to alcoholic liver disease, but develops in people who do not drink or drink very little alcohol. People with NASH have fat in the liver, along with inflammation and damage. If untreated, NASH may advance to cirrhosis or even liver cancer. In USA, NASH is one of the major causes of cirrhosis; statistics indicate that up to 25% of adults with NASH may have cirrhosis.

 

NASH has become more common in developed countries but its underlying cause is still not clear. It tends to occur in people who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. It is more common in women than in men. Many NASH patients have high cholesterol or triglycerides and diabetes.

 

Usually, NASH patients have few or no symptoms. Among the symptoms that do appear, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss for no clear reason are the most common. Because of this, most people with NASH would only discover the problem during routine checkups. By that time the disease is more advanced, making it even harder to treat. In addition, NASH patients usually have elevated ALT levels; this figure is used to determine the extent of liver damage, and can be obtained in liver function tests (LFTs).

 

Currently, there are no specific conventional treatment for NASH. Patients are generally advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle and reduce weight to normal level in order to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and improve their condition. However, there are alternative therapies that have been proven to have positive effects on NASH. [3][4][5] Patients should aim to slow or stop the progression of NASH in the early stages, and to prevent scarring of the liver and fibrosis.

Disclaimer:
  • * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.
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