Should I Be Concerned About NASH?


NASH, also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a health problem that results in liver damage and inflammation due to an overabundance of fatty tissue. A type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this liver concern could result in scar tissue and concerning health conditions, like fibrosis, without proper care. Our gastroenterologists in Indianapolis, IN perform diagnostic procedures and specialized care for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. To hear more about this health issue and the procedure options, we encourage you to continue reading or book an appointment with one of our physicians. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our specialists are dedicated to helping patients boost their gastrointestinal health.

What factors contribute to NASH?

The liver is critical for healthy digestive function and assists in removing bodily excretions. When the liver is significantly damaged, liver cirrhosis can develop, which usually necessitates the need for extensive treatment and care. Conditions that can heighten your chances for getting NASH include:

  • Obesity
  • Pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid

A progressive condition, NASH can eventually lead to symptoms that include an upset stomach, bleeding easily, telangiectasia (spider veins), tiredness, abdominal bloating, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. To stop the side effects from becoming worse, our gastroenterologists in Indianapolis, IN may order blood tests, assess any symptoms, and utilize innovative imaging devices, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), FibroScan®, and ultrasound, to detect fat content in the liver. This will allow our GI specialists to construct a treatment protocol that covers your exact needs.

Know the stages of nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The four stages of NAFLD disease include simple fatty liver disease (also called liver steatosis), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Throughout the first stage of simple fatty liver disease, most people typically don't exhibit any obvious symptoms, and are often unaware that they have the condition. The next stage, NASH, is a more severe phase of the disease, which causes inflamed tissues within the liver and possibly minor pain in the top right portion of the stomach. When the condition reaches this stage, cells in the liver have become damaged.

Sometimes, individuals who have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis develop fibrosis (stage three of NAFLD). If swelling in the liver worsens, scar tissue in the organ may form; however, the tissue is still healthy enough to maintain normal liver function in many cases. When the disease progresses to the final stage, cirrhosis develops, compromising liver function. At this point, the body is unable to filter waste properly, which can lead to liver failure.

Are there ways to manage nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?

Among the critical parts of managing NASH is to embrace healthier lifestyle behaviors. By following ideal nutritional intake, healthy eating habits, routine physical activity, and the management of other conditions, like diabetes or hypothyroidism, individuals could markedly minimize the health consequences of this form of NAFLD. Moreover, avoiding certain medications, alcohol, and some supplements can reduce the effects this serious disease has on your liver and overall health. Our GI doctors can provide guidance on the most effective approaches to negate the risks of NAFLD (and ultimately NASH) and help protect your liver from further damage. Offering personalized care, our staff endeavor to ensure each person who visits Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology gets a tailored treatment regimen that caters to their unique needs.

Find treatment for NASH in Indianapolis, IN

Our gastrointestinal specialists want to help patients halt the development of NASH and enable them to live a healthy, long life. As a vital organ, the liver plays a central role in digestive health. Our in Indianapolis, liver specialists strongly recommend taking a proactive stance on seeking care for any indications of a liver problem. Contact our team to schedule an appointment with one of the skilled GI doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology for more on this life-threatening liver disease, and help how to protect your health against its effects.