What Should I Know About Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis?

NASH, often called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a health concern that causes liver inflammation and damage due to an excess buildup of fat in the organ. A form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this liver issue may lead to the formation of scar tissue and advanced health problems, like liver cirrhosis. Our gastrointestinal (GI) physicians in San Antonio, TX offer diagnostic procedures and specialized care for NASH and other liver diseases. To hear more about this health issue and to explore your treatment options, we invite you to keep reading or book an appointment with one of our physicians. At San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates, our staff is dedicated to helping patients boost their digestive health.

What health risks can cause nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?

The liver is important for healthy digestion and helps eliminate bodily waste. If the liver becomes seriously damaged, advanced scarring of the liver may result, which often necessitates the need for extensive treatment and care. Health conditions that may escalate your likelihood of developing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are:

  • Being overweight
  • Diabetic conditions
  • High cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep disorders
  • Hypothyroidism

As a progressive disease, NASH might result in symptoms that include queasiness, fatigue, bleeding easily, spider veins, abdominal bloating, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. In an effort to prevent the side effects from becoming worse, our GI doctors in San Antonio, TX may assess your symptoms, perform diagnostic testing, and employ state-of-the-art imaging devices, like FibroScan®, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and ultrasound technology, to detect fat content in your liver. These diagnostic services will enable us to develop a treatment strategy that caters to your exact concerns.

The progressive stages of NAFLD

There are four stages of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which are defined as: simple fatty liver disease (also called liver steatosis), NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. In the initial stage of simple fatty liver disease, most people usually don't present symptoms and are often unaware that they have the condition. The next stage, NASH, represents a more concerning level of the condition, which creates liver inflammation and slight aching pains around the right upper part of the stomach. When the condition reaches this stage, cells in the liver have become damaged.

Some people who have NASH develop stage three of the condition, known as fibrosis. If irritation in the liver continues, scar tissue may develop; however, there may still be enough healthy tissue present for standard liver function. In the final stage (cirrhosis), the liver stops functioning correctly. As a result, the body has a difficult time filtering waste, which may lead to liver failure.

Are there effective ways to manage NASH?

Among the essential ways of managing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is to embrace new lifestyle habits. By following ideal nutritional intake, healthy eating habits, a routine exercise schedule, and receiving care for any underlying conditions, such as underactive thyroid or diabetes, you could decrease the health consequences of NASH. Additionally, avoiding certain medications, some supplements, and alcohol can diminish the impact this chronic disease has on your liver and overall wellness. Our GI team can suggest ideal methods of negating the possibility of developing NASH and help halt the progression of liver damage. Committed to providing personalized care, our team members take steps to ensure each patient who comes to San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates is given a customized treatment regimen designed for their unique health concerns.

Find help for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in San Antonio, TX

Our GI doctors at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates want to help stop the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and enable you to experience long-term health. As a vital organ, the liver plays an integral role in your gastrointestinal health and overall wellness. We urge you to take a proactive approach to address any signs or symptoms of a liver condition. Contact one of our GI practices in San Antonio, TX to schedule a visit and learn how to protect your health from this life-threatening liver disease.