Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in Northwest Arkansas

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There are two types of disease that fall under the umbrella of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The first consists of a buildup of fat in your liver that doesn't cause any outward symptoms or accompanying inflammation. Typically, this disease is diagnosed when additional tests are being performed. If this type of disease is affecting your well-being, your GI specialist can go over the steps you can take to preserve your liver from additional damage. This type of NAFLD is also often considered benign. However, it does have the probability to progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, commonly known as NASH.

The second type is more serious than NAFLD and is known as NASH. It is also characterized by the buildup of fat in the liver as well as inflammation. NASH is generally seen in patients who are larger, are diabetic and/or have high blood sugar, and have high cholesterol. Unless properly treated, NASH can impair liver function and create additional health problems.

NASH is most commonly diagnosed by the GI specialists at GI Alliance of Arkansas or by hepatologists who partner with other medical specialists to give you comprehensive care. To learn more about the NASH treatment options in Arkansas, contact us today.

A number of people who have NASH manage day-to-day without any symptoms.

The majority of patients who have NASH are able to manage it as a routine without symptoms. NASH may, every now and again, cause scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis. If symptoms of NASH do occur, they could include:

  • Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
  • Everlasting fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have been diagnosed with NASH and begin to have trouble breathing, swollen legs, or are unusually tired, contact your GI doctor right away. Our doctors at GI Alliance of Arkansas can provide care.

The cause of NASH is still not known. Although it could affect younger individuals, this condition generally is seen in older ones. Some other risk factors for NASH include:

  • Post-menopausal phase of life
  • Diagnosed high blood pressure
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Cholesterol that is high
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hispanic or Asian descent (however, NASH can affect anyone)
  • Obesity
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

NASH can lead to additional help complications if left untreated, particularly cirrhosis, liver cancer, and potentially liver failure. If NASH is diagnosed, taking control of your weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels can have positive effects on not just your liver, but your body.

Once diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, you will need to regularly visit your Arkansas gastroenterologist/hepatologist in order to monitor your liver. Treating NASH might include a mixture of a healthy diet, limiting your sugar and sodium intake, and regular exercise. We will also need to address any pre-existing conditions known for increasing the risk of NASH.

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What are the primary differences between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?

NAFLD and NASH are variations of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver, yet with this condition, no damage is present. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a form of NAFLD that also involves fat accumulation in the liver, but where liver inflammation, damage, and even scarring result.

How do you identify the indications of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis if it does not produce symptoms?

While there may be no apparent symptoms of NASH, you might notice fatigue or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen (where the liver is). Often, the first indication of liver disease is when cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) occurs. Cirrhosis may cause certain symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Itching
  • Yellowish appearance to the eyes and skin
In the absence of treatment, what complications can develop with NASH?

Without proper treatment, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis may result in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Liver fibrosis is a condition that develops when inflammation and scarring damage the liver. This scar tissue that forms can overcome healthy areas (cirrhosis), which might cause liver function to slow or stop completely. Untreated, fibrosis and cirrhosis can cause liver failure and liver cancer.

Is the damage caused by NASH reversible?

Those who are experiencing the initial stages of NASH and have not endured extensive liver damage might be able to reverse the effects by implementing lifestyle modifications. These might involve eating a healthy diet, exercise, and losing weight (if necessary). But if chronic or more significant damage has resulted, the effects of the condition might not be reversible. Our Northwest Arkansas digestive health specialists can provide further details and information surrounding this disease.

If you're trying to manage NASH symptoms on a day-to-day basis, it's important to connect with a skilled GI specialist to cut down its impacts and safeguard your liver health. At GI Alliance of Arkansas, our GI doctors are dedicated to placing your health first, and we take a patient-centric approach to providing individualized service. If you think you may have this condition or are searching for a provider who offers treatment for NASH in Arkansas, call our facility to schedule a meeting with a gastroenterology physician.


D.B. Google

I am Marie Hudgens daughter. Karen Stewart. She lives with us and I take care of all her medical appointments & meds.I was very happy with Moms medical appointment. I was disappointed because the nurse didn’t call me like she assured me she would with Moms Lab reports. Other wise I was satisfied with De. Ellison and his team.

K.S. Google

(Translated by Google) My experience at the GI Alliance clinic was EXCELLENT!!! From the moment you walk in you feel welcome. Thanks to the attention of Shelby Cochran and the nurse who was also my interpreter, they were SUPER!!! with me well, all the staff; They made me feel confident, comfortable and in a very safe place. I appreciate your hospitality. Blessings💜 (Original) Mi experiencia en la clínica GI Alliance fue EXCELENTE!!! Desde que entras te sientes bienvenida. Gracias a la atención de Shelby Cochran y la enfermera quien también fue mi intérprete, se portaron SÚPER!!! conmigo bueno, todo el personal; me hicieron sentir confiada, cómoda y en un lugar muy seguro. Agradezco su hospitalidad. Bendiciones💜

J.G. Google

I have been a patient of Dr. Paschall's for several years, and have always been very pleased with his care. I recently moved with him to his new office, and have also been pleased there. I feel that he cares about me and is familiar with my case, thus giving me more personal advise than someone else would. I recently told him that I trusted his advise about a couple of different matters, and would gladly do what he recommended. He's a keeper.

J.E. Google

I have always had such a positive experience with Dr. O’Keefe as my GI doctor. He’s incredibly knowledgeable, keeps me updated on new treatments, and is always looking out for my best interests. I’m looking to start a family soon and he took extra time out of his day to ensure that the medicine I am on would be safe while pregnant and breastfeeding. He explains things in a way where it isn’t over your head and his level of care is above and beyond.

J.M. Google


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