Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which fat builds up in your liver. The more severe form of NAFLD is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH causes the liver to swell and become damaged. To calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and to learn if you’re at risk for NASH, take this Risk Assessment Quiz.
NASH tends to develop in people who are overweight or obese, or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. However, some people have NASH even if they do not have any risk factors.
Most people with NASH are between the ages of 40 and 60 years. It is more common in women than in men. NASH often has no symptoms and people can have NASH for years before symptoms occur.
NASH is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis in adults in the United States. Up to 25% of adults with NASH may have cirrhosis.
- What condition do I have that suggests NAFLD?
- Can NAFLD be reversed? How long can this process take?
- Do I have cirrhosis or scarring of the liver?
- If I do have cirrhosis – how far has the scarring progressed?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes and diet can I make?
- Would it be possible to be connected to a registered dietitian or nutritionist to make a specific meal plan?
- What kinds of physical activities would be OK for me to do?
- Is there a treatment or medication for NAFLD? Are there any clinical trials?
- Will losing weight help me to get rid of this disease?
FROM THE DOCTOR’S DESK
There are many different types of liver disease. But no matter what type you have, the damage to your liver is likely to progress in a similar way.
Whether your liver is infected with a virus, injured by chemicals, or under attack from your own immune system, the basic danger is the same – that your liver will become so damaged that it can no longer work to keep you alive.
Cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure are serious conditions that can threaten your life. Once you have reached these stages of liver disease, your treatment options may be very limited.
That’s why it’s important to catch liver disease early, in the inflammation and fibrosis stages. If you are treated successfully at these stages, your liver may have a chance to heal itself and recover.
Talk to your doctor about liver disease. Find out if you are at risk or if you should undergo any tests or vaccinations.
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