What is NASH?

NASH July Blog 2

 NASH, also known as Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is an advanced form of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is caused by a build-up of fat in the liver and is considered a silent disease with few or no symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about the causes and symptoms of NASH and NAFLD. 

What Causes NASH and NAFLD?  

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Though this  disease is still being studied, based on expert findings, certain health conditions, your genes, diet, and digestive system may make you more likely to develop NAFLD. Let’s take a look at the details.  

Health Conditions 

Having any of the following health conditions increases your chances of developing NASH or NAFLD. 

  • overweight or obesity 
  • insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes 
  • abnormal levels of fats in your blood 

Genes 

Researchers have discovered that some genes may increase your risk of developing NAFLD. Experts are still studying the genes that may play a role in this disease. These genes could explain why some racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop NAFLD than others.  

Fatty liver may have other causes other than NAFLD such as alcohol- related liver disease, rapid weight loss, and exposure to toxins. 1 

Symptoms 

NASH is often referred to as the “silent killer” and with reason. The majority of people who suffer from NAFLD don’t even know they have it. Some individuals could develop cirrhosis from NASH without any knowledge. The most common symptoms include:   

  • Fatigue   
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen   

NASH may lead to Cirrhosis. This is the late stage of liver scarring and may lead to liver failure. Symptoms an individual may experience as the condition progresses include:   

  • Bleeding easily  
  • Bruising easily  
  • Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes   
  • Fluid accumulation in your abdomen  
  • Loss of appetite  
  • Nausea  
  • Swelling in your legs  

While there is no standard treatment for NASH at this time, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and weight loss, have been shown to affect its progression. You can learn more about how to better manage your NASH diagnosis in our blog post here. An alternative option may be signing up for clinical research! Individuals diagnosed with NASH have potential access to new study treatment at no cost. 2 

Learn How You Can Get Involved!

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Centex has NASH treatment studies enrolling in South Houston and Lake Charles. Volunteers eligible for the studies and who choose to participate could have access to the study medication from the Centex medical team at no cost.  

There is also compensation available to participants for their study-related time and travel. Volunteer for research today!  

References:  

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/symptoms-causes 
  2. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/n/non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis-nash.html 

 

 

 

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