What happens if I am diagnosed with NASH?
Currently, there are no approved medications for NAFLD/NASH. However, it is possible to stop it from progressing to severe liver damage through lifestyle change by focusing on physical activity and nutrition.
People with NASH are at a higher risk of developing other conditions such as metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease. Cardiac-related deaths are one of the leading causes of mortality for people living with NASH or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
If left untreated and the liver becomes damaged to the point of failure, a liver transplant may be required. NASH can progress into cirrhosis, liver cancer, or result in death and is expected to become the leading cause of liver transplant.
What are options for treatment of NAFLD/NASH?
The more serious NASH becomes, the more difficult it is to manage. The amount of fat in the liver can be reduced through nutrition, physical activity, and adequate sleep. This can help NAFLD and NASH at all stages.
While there are no approved therapies, lifestyle modification through nutrition and physical activity are recommended. This can be done through:
- 1Healthy food choices
- 2Limiting portion sizes
- 3Being physically active
What is the difference between a diagnosis for NAFLD and NASH?
If diagnosed, you may be at an early stage or late stage of liver disease. Here is how your health care provider determines the difference:
- If you have fat but no inflammation or tissue damage, the diagnosis is NAFLD.
- If you have fat, inflammation, and liver damage, the diagnosis is NASH.
- If you have a type of scar tissue in your liver called fibrosis, you may be developing cirrhosis.