"Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Is A Leading Cause Of Cirrhosis"

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) accounts for about 10 percent of newly diagnosed cases of chronic liver inflammation, and is one of the leading causes of advanced cirrhosis in the United States, following hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease.

The liver is a vital organ – no one can survive without it, but it is a silent organ because it can be damaged without sending any signals or symptoms.

Thats why many people live with liver disease for a long time without ever knowing they have it.

This disease occurs mostly in overweight adults and children, however, it can also occur in individuals with normal weight. So don't rule it out if you are not overweight.

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Is A Progressive Disease, And Can Lead To Cirrhosis And End Stage Liver Disease, Which May Require Liver Transplantation.

The only way to distinguish NASH from other forms of fatty liver disease is with a liver biopsy.

The progression of NASH can take years, even decades.

The process can stop and, in some cases, reverse on its own without specific therapy. Or it can slowly worsen, causing scarring or fibrosis to appear and accumulate in the liver.

As fibrosis worsens, cirrhosis develops; the liver becomes seriously scarred, hardened, and unable to function normally and can result in end stage liver disease.

Fortunately not everyone with NASH develops cirrhosis,

Most People With This Disease Feel Healthy And Show No Outward Signs Of A Liver Disease And Only Begin To Have Symptoms Such As:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • And Weakness
  • Once the disease is more advanced or cirrhosis develops.

Although The Cause Is Not Known, Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis or NASH Seems To Be Related To Certain Other Conditions Including:

  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High Triglycerides
  • And diabetes

Treatment for it involves controlling those underlying conditions.

Other Factors That Have Been Known To Contribute To This Disease Are:

  • Having had surgeries that shorten the intestines, the stomach, or both, such as bypass surgery or biliopancreatic diversion.
  • Using a Feeding Tube or other method of receiving nutrition for a long time.
  • Using Certain Medicines, including: Amiodarone, Glucocorticoids, Synthetic Estrogens, and Tamoxifen.
  • If you're on any of these medications don't stop taking them without your doctors advice.

At the present time, there is no treatment for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.

General Lifestyle Changes That Are Recommended To Stop The Disease From Progressing To Cirrhosis Are:

  • Weight Loss if you are Overweight
  • Eat A Healthy well balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Avoid Alcohol

A Person With Cirrhosis May Experience:

  • Fluid Retention
  • Muscle Wasting
  • Bleeding from the Intestines
  • And Liver Failure

Liver transplantation is the only treatment for advanced cirrhosis with liver failure, and transplantation is increasingly performed in people with NASH.

An initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes in the blood.

Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured for any reason, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream causing high liver enzymes levels and signaling liver damage.

Experimental Approaches Under Evaluation In Patients With NASH Include Antioxidants, Such As:

  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • And Betaine

These medications act by reducing the oxidative stress that appears to increase inside the liver in people with the disease.

Whether these substances actually help treat the disease is not known, but the results of clinical trials will become available in the next few years.

There Are Many Promising Research Studies Currently Being Conducted.

Studies show:

Weight loss improves nonalcoholic steatohepatitis17. February 2009 12:46In a recent study, Saint Louis University researchers found that weight loss of at least 9 percent helped patients reverse a type of liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a finding that will allow doctors to give patients specific weight-loss goals that are likely to improve their livers.

From National Institute of Health:

Recent data suggests that omega-3 fatty acids ameliorate hepatic steatosis in humans and in animal models of NASH by reducing hepatic fat content.

We hypothesize that a one year course of omega-3 fatty acid (3gm/day) will produce improvement in NASH histological injury independent of changes in weight (BMI) or degree of conditioning measured by the lactate threshold.

The early indications are that Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplementation has the potential to offer therapeutic benefits as well as preventative measures for liver disease.

Although more research is required the future does look promising.

In the meantime omega 3 fish oil supplementation can offer a number of positive health benefits.

But it is important when choosing a supplement not to opt for cod liver oil due to its vitamin A content, which can put extra pressure on the liver.

It is also advisable not to take one of the standard grade fish oils as the quantity of Omega 3 fatty acids they contain can vary and they can also contain impurities.

A Highly concentrated,Pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement is the best way to ensure you get the maximum health benefits from your omega 3 fish oil.

More NASH information:

The American Liver Foundation

NonAlcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Diverticular Disease
Ulcerative Colitis
Crohns Disease

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