What Are the Causes of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis?


Commonly referred to as NASH, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a condition that results in inflammation and damage within the liver from an overabundance of fatty tissue. A form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this medical condition might lead to scar tissue and severe symptoms, including liver cirrhosis. Our gastroenterologists in Phoenix, AZ carry out diagnostic testing and offer personalized care for NASH and other liver conditions. To hear more about this liver concern and how it might be managed, please continue reading or schedule an appointment with one of our gastrointestinal (GI) doctors. At Arizona Digestive Health, our team is devoted to helping patients boost their liver function and health.

What leads to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?

The liver is important for healthy digestive function and assists in removing digestive waste. If the liver becomes significantly damaged, advanced scarring of the liver might develop, which generally necessitates the need for extensive treatment and care. Health factors that could escalate your risks for getting NASH are:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetic conditions
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid

NASH is a progressive condition and can carry symptoms, like queasiness, bleeding easily, spider veins, fatigue, abdominal bloating, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. To inhibit the side effects from becoming worse, our GI doctors in Phoenix, AZ might prescribe blood tests, analyze any symptoms, and employ high-end imaging services, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and FibroScan®, to detect fat content in the liver. These tests can enable our GI specialists to develop a treatment protocol that covers your medical concerns.

The stages of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

The four stages of NAFLD disease are defined as: simple fatty liver disease (also called liver steatosis), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Throughout the initial stage of simple fatty liver disease, most people generally do not exhibit obvious symptoms and are often unaware that they have a fatty liver. The next stage, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a more severe stage of the disease, which results in inflamed tissues within the liver and may cause slight discomfort near the right upper area of the stomach. In this stage, cellular tissue in the liver has been damaged.

In some instances, individuals diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis develop stage three or fibrosis. If irritation in the liver continues, scar tissue begins to replace normal tissue. In this stage, the tissue might still be healthy enough to maintain normal liver function. In the fourth stage, you start to experience cirrhosis, which prevents the liver from functioning properly. At this point, your body cannot properly filter waste, which may lead to liver failure.

How is NASH managed?

Among the essential elements of controlling nonalcoholic hepatitis is to incorporate new lifestyle habits. By following good nutritional intake, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and the management of any underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid, you could markedly lessen the effects of this form of NAFLD. Additionally, avoiding alcohol, some supplements, or certain medications can diminish the effects this progressive disease has on your liver and general health. Our GI specialists can help you identify the ideal approaches to moderate your risks of NASH and halt the progression of liver damage. Prioritizing the health and wellness of our patients, our team members seek to make sure every individual who visits Arizona Digestive Health is provided with a personalized treatment strategy that caters to their unique concerns.

Find treatment for NASH in Phoenix, AZ

Our team wants to help patients prevent the development of NASH and allow them to experience long-term liver health. Since the liver plays an essential role in digestive health, we strongly recommend taking a preventive approach to address any indication of a liver problem as early as possible. Reach out to our team to book a visit with a GI specialist at Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix, AZ to learn more about NASH and how to prevent it from having a greater impact on your health.