(Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease [NAFLD] and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis [NASH])
Bhupinder Anand, MD
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver facts
- What are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis?
- Why is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease important?
- What causes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
- What is the difference between nonalcoholic fatty liver and steatohepatitis?
- What is the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, and diabetes?
- What is the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and the metabolic syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of fatty liver?
- How is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease diagnosed?
- What are the other causes of fatty liver?
- What are the complications of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
- How is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease treated?
- Weight loss and exercise
- Medications and other treatment options
- Bariatric surgery
- Liver transplant
- What is the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease?
- What diseases are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
- Does nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occur in children?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Nonalcoholic fatty liver facts
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) is the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver.
- NAFLD can be divided into isolated fatty liver in which there is only accumulation of fat, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in which there is fat and damage to liver cells.
- NASH progresses to scarring and ultimately to cirrhosis, with all the complications of cirrhosis, for example, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver failure, and liver cancer.
- Isolated fatty liver does not progress to NASH or cirrhosis.
- The development of NAFLD is intimately associated with and is probably caused by obesity and diabetes.
- NAFLD is considered a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome.
- The symptoms of NAFLD are primarily those of the complications of cirrhosis in patients with NASH; isolated fatty liver infrequently causes symptoms and usually is discovered incidentally.
- The differentiation of isolated fatty liver from NASH requires a liver biopsy.
- The most promising treatments for NAFLD are weight loss including bariatric surgery and exercise.
- Several drugs have been studied in the treatment of NASH. There is little evidence that any drug is effective in slowing the disease progression of NASH.
- Many diseases are associated with NASH and are part of the metabolic syndrome. These diseases should be screened for and treated, for example, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia and diabetes.
- NAFLD, including NASH affects young children as well.
- NASH will become the number one reason for liver transplantation unless effective and safe treatments are found.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2014
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