NASH, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is an advanced form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease characterized by fatty tissue build-up around the liver that has cause inflammation, scarring, and damage. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease rarely shows symptoms until it has progressed far enough to cause damage. In fact, data shows that more than 35% of Americans could be living with fatty liver disease and have no idea.
Receiving that NASH diagnosis can be scary, especially knowing that you now have a 20% chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver, which increases the likelihood of liver cancer. However, you don’t have to lie down and take it! Keep reading to learn how you can better manage NASH and maybe even reverse some of the effects.
Regular exercise seems to be the answer for a lot of conditions, but especially for NASH. Obesity and other metabolic diseases are some of the most significant risk factors for developing a fatty liver and, ultimately, NASH. Aim for 30-35 minutes per day, but anything is better than nothing. There’s no need to be intimidated; just walking is a great start!
EAT AT HOME & PORTION CONTROL!
The portion sizes at American restaurants are ridiculous! Making home-cooked meals lets you control what goes into the meal and how much you put on your plate. Take matters into your own hands, literally! For example, a portion of non-starchy vegetables and fruits is two hands cupped together, a portion of grains, starchy vegetables, or legumes is a closed fist, a portion of meat is the palm of your hand, and a portion of fat is the size of your thumb.
On top of eating the correct portion sizes, eating the right things plays a huge role in your overall health and NASH management. We all get hungry throughout the day and in-between meals, but swapping out those sweet, salty, and fatty snacks with fresh fruits, vegetables, sugar-free jello or popsicles, or a small amount of dark chocolate will do wonders for your body!
STAY HYDRATED AND AVOID ALCOHOL
Keeping yourself hydrated will help you stay fuller longer and flush out excess toxins from the body. Make sure to drink plenty of water (plain, sparkling, or fruit-infused), unflavored milk, unsweetened teas, or plain coffee throughout the day. Also, avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible. It is widely known that alcohol is extremely harmful to the liver when consumed in excess.
CONSIDER JOINING A RESEARCH STUDY!
Currently, there is no FDA approved treatment for NASH, but Centex Studies has several clinical trials enrolling that are evaluating potential new options. Those who qualify and choose to participate could receive access to the trial medication at no cost, no insurance required. Volunteers are also compensated for their time.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with NASH, find out if a clinical trial could be right for you! Trials are enrolling now in the South Houston, North Houston, Lake Charles, and McAllen areas. Fight back against NASH, volunteer today!