Understanding Fatty Liver
Friday, June 9, 2017
Increasingly over the past decade patients are being diagnosed with NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). This is defined as excess fatty deposits in the liver without inflammation. The concern is it can progress to NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) or fatty liver with inflammation, scarring and liver dysfunction. NASH can lead to cirrhosis of the liver resulting in death or the need for transplantation. Once only found in alcoholics and a few uncommon diseases, NAFLD/NASH can be found in anyone.
The process causing the fat accumulation is not fully understood yet. There is some science showing an association with the increased use of high fructose corn syrup as a primary sweetener. This is a problem seen more commonly in patients with obesity, diabetes or insulin resistance, hypertension and high cholesterol/triglycerides. The fatty accumulation can be seen from childhood through old age.
Left untreated NAFLD can lead to severe liver dysfunction, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. NASH is becoming a leading cause for liver transplant in the US. Weight loss is the only therapy with reasonable evidence it is effective and safe. Many medications have been studied but none had sufficient evidence of effectiveness to recommend them solely for the treatment of fatty liver. Vitamin E has, historically, been used at very high doses. Studies have raised concerns that more than 400 international units/daily may raise a patient’s risk of all-cause mortality.
Sterling Research will be conducting a study for patients with NAFLD looking at a new medication for the treatment. You could be a medical hero by helping to create a newer and safer medication regimen.
To see if you qualify call us at 513-621-5221.