NASH is a chronic liver disease that can progress to becoming a serious illness without proper treatment. NASH can also affect the heart, increasing the risk of an untimely death. Advanced Research Institute is holding clinical trials in Ogden and Sandy, Utah, and Reno, Nevada, to test new drugs to treat NASH.
How Does Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Affect Patients?
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis can eventually destroy the liver, which is necessary to live. Thus, diagnosis and treatment of this disease is critical. However, some patients suffer few, if any, symptoms of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, delaying their diagnosis.
Up to 25% of the U.S. population suffers from less aggressive forms of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Early symptoms include fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen. Symptoms of advanced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis include jaundice, a swollen abdomen and easy bleeding and bruising.
The disease progresses when fatty deposits build up in the liver, causing inflammation and scarring. Scarring of the liver, also known as cirrhosis, is usually associated with alcoholism, but not always.
NASH strikes overweight and obese people more often. Those who have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or high levels of fat in the blood are also more susceptible. However, it is not known why some people who meet these conditions develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis while others don’t.