Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Ocean Springs, MS

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There are two categories of disease under the diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The first disease surrounds a buildup of fat in your liver that causes no outward symptoms and has no accompanying inflammation. Often, this type is found when additional tests are being performed. If this disease affects your health, your GI specialist will review the process you might take to protect your liver from further damage. This type of NAFLD is also usually considered benign, but it does have the potential to become non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, commonly known as NASH.

The other type is more serious than NAFLD and is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. NASH is also defined by the buildup of fat in the liver that is accompanied by inflammation. NASH is typically found in individuals who are larger, diabetic, have high blood sugar, or have high cholesterol. Unless adequately treated, NASH can harm liver function and create other health problems.

NASH is most commonly diagnosed by the GI providers at Digestive Health Center or hepatologists who are partnered with other medical specialists to offer comprehensive care. Contact a local practice today for more information about the NASH treatment options in Ocean Springs, MS.



Several people who have NASH live without developing symptoms. NASH may, at times, cause scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. If symptoms of NASH occur, they may include:

  • Unintentional loss of weight
  • Constant fatigue
  • An ache in the upper right portion of your abdomen

If you've been diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and develop difficulty breathing, swollen legs, or you are unusually tired, contact your GI provider immediately. The specialists at Digestive Health Center can help you find answers.

The precise cause of NASH remains unknown. Although it can affect younger people, this condition generally is seen in adults. Other risk factors for NASH include:

  • Obesity
  • Post-menopausal phase of life
  • High blood pressure
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Asian or Hispanic descent (but it can impact anyone)
  • High cholesterol

If left untreated, NASH might cause more health issues, like cirrhosis, liver cancer, and in the end, liver failure. If the condition is diagnosed, taking control of your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can positively affect your liver and your whole body.

After you've been diagnosed with NASH, you will want to regularly visit your Ocean Springs, MS GI provider or hepatologist to monitor your liver. Treating NASH could consist of a combination of a healthy diet, limiting your sugar and sodium intake, and developing an exercise routine. We will also need to address any previous conditions that may increase the risk and/or severity of NASH.

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What are the main differences between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH?

NASH and NAFLD are variations of fatty liver disease. NAFLD is the buildup of fat in the liver, yet with this variation, damage has not occurred. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that is also characterized by fat buildup in the liver, but where inflammation and damage (including scarring) have developed.

How might you recognize the signs of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis if there are no symptoms?

While there may be no outward symptoms of NASH, you may experience lethargy or pain around the liver (in the upper right side of the abdomen). Often, the initial sign of liver disease, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, is when scarring of the liver occurs (cirrhosis). There are certain symptoms of cirrhosis you can watch for, such as:

  • Itching
  • Swelling in the abdominal area
  • Yellowish appearance to the eyes and skin
Without treatment, what complications might occur with NASH?

Without proper treatment, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Liver fibrosis is a condition that occurs when the liver becomes inflamed and scarred. This scar tissue that forms can replace healthy tissue (liver cirrhosis), which could cause liver function to slow or cease entirely. Untreated, these conditions may result in liver failure and cancer.

Is the damage caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis reversible?

Patients who are in the initial stages of NASH and have not experienced extensive liver damage may be able to reverse the effects of the condition by implementing lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, exercising, and weight loss. But if long-term or more extensive damage has occurred, the effects of the condition might not be reversible. Our Ocean Springs, MS digestive health team can offer further details regarding this disease.

Finding the assistance you need to maintain your liver health and minimizing the results of NASH can improve your day-to-day living. At Digestive Health Center, our GI specialists are passionate about placing your health and wellness first. Our specialists take a patient-centric approach to providing individualized care. If you have recently been diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or are searching for a provider who offers treatment for NASH in Ocean Springs, MS, contact our office to request a consultation with a GI provider in your community.

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