What is Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis?

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

is a condition of the liver where fat begins to accumulate in it causing it to dysfunction. This condition is also referred to as



silent liver disease

. Usually,


(accumulation of fat in the liver) occurs in people who consume too much alcohol. But in the case of NASH, this happens to people who either drink very little or no alcohol at all.

Features of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis:

As mentioned above, NASH is called a silent liver disease. This is because most people who develop this syndrome do not even know that they are actually suffering from it until the liver develops cirrhosis or scarring.

  • The accumulated fat inflames the liver and can also cause permanent damage to it.
  • NASH is considered to be the extension of another condition known as NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). While 2-5 percent of the American population is known to suffer from NASH, another 10-20 percent are known to possess NAFLD.
  • People between the ages 40-60 are the ones often diagnosed with this condition (with women developing the condition more than men). But even children, aged 10 or more can suffer from this problem.

Conditions That may Lead to NASH:

The exact cause of fat accumulation in the livers of persons who don’t drink alcohol is not understood. But, people suffering from the below mentioned conditions are at a risk of developing this syndrome.

  • Obesity.

    Almost 70 percent of the people who are diagnosed for NASH are obese.

  • Diabetes

    . Nearly 75 percent people who are diagnosed for NASH are diabetic.

  • Cholesterol.

    20-80 percent of the people diagnosed with the condition are known to have high cholesterol levels.

Apart from these conditions, drugs and medications used to treat other health conditions may also lead to NASH.

Symptoms of NASH:

Again, since the disease develops silently, there are no symptoms in the initial stages. But, as the disease progresses, symptoms like fatigue, weakness, weight loss and abdominal discomfort would be observed.

  • If the liver goes hard (due to cirrhosis), it would begin to dysfunction.

As of now, there is no treatment as such for

nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

. But patients are usually recommended to reduce their weight, have a balanced diet and reduce the use of unnecessary medications.

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