Liver & Gallbladder Diseases

Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

About NASH

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an advanced form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is caused by buildup of fat in the liver. When this buildup causes inflammation and damage, it is known as NASH, which can lead to scarring of the liver. Scarring of the liver is a potentially life-threatening condition called cirrhosis.

Symptoms of NASH

There are often no outward signs or symptoms associated with NASH. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • May have symptoms of advanced liver disease like
    • Jaundice
    • Yellowish discolouration of eyes
    • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
    • Symptoms of cirrhosis.

Causes of NASH

NASH is most common in patients who are overweight or obese. Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Treatment of NASH

Diet and lifestyle modification remains the mainstay of treatment. For patients with NASH and advanced fibrosis, current liver-directed drugs with vitamin E and liver-specific drugs like pioglitazone offer some benefits, Newer medications like obeticholic acid appears promising and is currently being tested.

Comorbidities must be diagnosed and treated; cardiovascular disease remains a primary cause of death in these patients.