Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis (NASH): A liver health problem
Have you ever heard of the acronym NASH? This acronym is used to identify an increasingly common disease that affects the liver: non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Understanding Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis
What exactly is this health problem? It results from an accumulation of saturated fatty acids (mainly triglycerides) in the liver cells, hence the expression “fatty liver”. Fatty tissue develop when a person consumes too many fats and sugars for their body to handle.
Diagnosis and symptoms
How do I know if I have non-alcoholic fatty liver? Unlike many other health problems, non-alcoholic steatosis is more difficult to detect, and requires certain diagnostic tests.
Very few symptoms are present in people who are diagnosed. In fact, they may experience fatigue and discomfort in the liver, which is located in the upper abdomen on the right side. This organ is mainly protected by the ribs.
Who are the people most affected by this health problem? People who are overweight or obese, those with a high waist circumference, diabetics and people with an excess of lipids or fats in your blood results.
Diagnosis and management
Diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver? To diagnose non-alcoholic fatty liver, blood tests, medical imaging and a liver biopsy are required. However, it is also possible to use a fibroscan in conjunction with medical imaging tests to make the diagnosis. The fibroscan enables rapid, non-invasive assessment of liver health.
In fact, it is used to measure the degree of elasticity of the liver, through two physical parameters. Firstly, the hardness or elasticity of the liver, which indicates the possible presence of hepatic fibrosis (abnormally abundant formation of scar tissue in the liver), and ultrasound attenuation, which can detect the presence and extent of fat overload (steatosis) in liver tissue. Fibroscan is non-invasive, painless and fast.
Management of Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis
Non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis needs to be managed to prevent it from degenerating into liver cirrhosis and even liver failure.
How can non-alcoholic fatty liver be treated? It is possible to control or eliminate the cause. However, there are very few treatments available. That’s why it’s important to increase research into a treatment that could address this health problem.
Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis study underway
Alpha Recherche Clinique’s Lebourgneuf clinic is currently conducting a study on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and is looking for participants. If you are between the ages of 18 and 75 and think you might be eligible for the study, please contact us. Our nurses are trained to perform Fibroscan assessments.
To find out more about the studies currently being recruited, please contact the Alpha Clinical Research team at 418-704-1112 (Lebourgneuf) or 418-847-1112 (Val-Bélair).