Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in St. Louis, MO

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There are two variations of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, commonly called NAFLD. The first involves an excess of fat in the liver that causes no real symptoms or coexisting inflammation. Typically, this type of NAFLD is diagnosed when other tests are performed. If this type of disease is impacting your well-being, your GI specialist will review with you the steps you can take to preserve your liver from further damage. This particular type of NAFLD is also considered non-cancerous, however, it does have the possibility to progress to NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis).

The other type is more serious and is called NASH. NASH is also described by a buildup of fat in the liver that is accompanied by inflammation. NASH is typically found in individuals who are overweight, are diabetic and/or have high blood sugar, and have high cholesterol. Unless treated, NASH can harm liver function and cause additional health complications.

NASH is typically diagnosed by GI specialists at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location near you or hepatologists who partner with other medical specialists to offer comprehensive care. For more information about NASH treatments in St. Louis, MO, get in touch with our team today.



A number of people who have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis live without any symptoms. NASH can, sometimes, cause scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. If NASH symptoms do occur, some of the symptoms St. Louis, MO patients may experience include:

  • An ache in the upper right part of your abdomen
  • Unintentional loss of weight
  • Constant fatigue


The precise cause of NASH is not known. While it might affect younger people, this condition generally occurs in adults. Other risk factors for NASH could include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Post-menopausal phase of life
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Asian or Hispanic descent (however, it can impact anyone)
  • High blood sugar levels

Without treatment, NASH can create more health concerns, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and ultimately, liver failure. In the event NASH is diagnosed, managing your weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels can help not just your liver, but, also, your overall health.

After you've been diagnosed with NASH, you will want to regularly visit your Specialists in Gastroenterology provider/hepatologist to monitor your liver. Treatments for NASH might comprise a combo of a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and sodium, and regular exercise. Additionally, we'll need to address any pre-existing conditions that may increase the risk and/or severity of NASH.

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What are the primary differences between NASH and NAFLD?

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are both forms of fatty liver disease. NAFLD is the accumulation of fat in the liver, but with this variation, no damage has occurred. NASH is a variation of NAFLD that also involves the accumulation of fat in the liver, but where liver inflammation and damage (including scarring) are involved.

How can you identify the indications of NASH if it does not produce symptoms?

Even though there may be no observable symptoms of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, you may notice fatigue or pain in the upper right side of your abdomen (where the liver is). Often, the initial indication of liver disease, like NASH, is when scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) occurs. Cirrhosis may cause certain symptoms you can observe, including:

  • Itching of the skin
  • Swelling in the abdominal area
  • Yellowish appearance to the skin and eyes
Without treatment, what complications might occur with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?

If left untreated, NASH might result in fibrosis and cirrhosis. Liver fibrosis is a condition that occurs when inflammation and scarring damage the liver. This scar tissue can overcome healthy areas (cirrhosis), which might cause liver function to slow or cease altogether. Without treatment, fibrosis and cirrhosis may lead to liver failure and cancer.

Is it possible to reverse the damage caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?

People who are experiencing the early stages of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and do not have severe liver damage may be able to reverse the effects through lifestyle modifications. This might involve healthy eating, exercise, and losing weight (if necessary). However, if long-term or more advanced damage has occurred, the effects of NASH may not be reversible. Our St. Louis, MO digestive health specialists can offer more in-depth details regarding this disease.

Finding the medical attention you need to maintain your liver health and cut down on the impact of NASH can increase your overall quality of life. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, our GI providers are here to place your health and wellness first, and we take a patient-centered approach to treating NASH. If you believe you might have the condition or are seeking a specialist who offers NASH treatment in St. Louis, MO, call one of our locations to request a consultation with a GI specialist.

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