NASH is a condition where there is fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver. It occurs in people who do not drink alcohol. The exact cause is unknown.
Most people with NASH have no symptoms. The condition is usually picked up during routine health screening when the liver function tests are abnormal.
You should seek advice from a liver doctor (hepatologist) to confirm the diagnosis and also on how to manage the condition.
Liver function tests usually show an elevated ALT or AST. Fatty infiltration of the liver is also seen on ultrasound of the abdomen. It is important to exclude viral hepatitis B and C, as well as other metabolic and autoimmune causes of liver disease through blood tests.
People at risk of NASH are those who are overweight (BMI exceeds 23 for Asians and 25 for Caucasians). Individuals with diabetes mellitus, gout, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are also at risk of developing NASH.
At this time, there are no treatments that can cure NASH. The main goal of treatment is to control the conditions that are associated with NASH, such as obesity and hyperlipidemia. Several experimental treatments are being studied, but none can be routinely recommended.
The typical course of NASH is still being studied. About a third may progress to fibrosis and about 20% will develop cirrhosis over a period of 9 years.
Picture of normal liver biopsy
Picture of NASH liver biopsy