NAFLD – Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Your physician has diagnosed you with NAFLD, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, what comes next?

The first step in any new diagnosis is to ask questions of your physician, make sure that you understand the diagnosis. What is NAFLD? How can it be treated? How will it affect my life?

It is important to understand that there is a separate condition that affects the liver found in people who drink too much alcohol. That is why doctors are careful to differentiate between liver diseases caused by excessive drinking and those that are found in patients who are either do not drink at all or just occasionally. NAFLD is not caused by alcohol consumption.

There are two types of NAFLD. The first is a benign condition caused by fat build up in the liver with no symptoms or accompanying inflammation. The lack of symptoms means that this condition is often diagnosed during tests for other issues, for example, during an ultrasound of the gall bladder doctors may see the fat build up in the liver. If you have been diagnosed with this type of NAFLD, your Concorde doctor will discuss with you the steps you can take to minimize further damage.

The second category is a more serious condition known as NASH. The build up of fat in the liver also characterizes non-alcoholic steatohepatitis but, it is also accompanied by inflammation. NASH is often found in patients who are overweight, have diabetes or high blood sugar and/or have high cholesterol. These conditions will need to be addressed directly as part of your treatment. Taking control of your weight, blood sugar and cholesterol can have positive effects not only on your liver, but also throughout your body. Your Concorde physician can offer you real options for managing your weight with our Integrated Wellness & Weight Management Program.

If you have been diagnosed with NASH you should see your gastroenterologist / hepatologist regularly to monitor your liver. It is possible to live your life without developing any additional symptoms, but NASH can, at times, cause scarring of the liver called cirrhosis. If you have been diagnosed with NASH and begin to have trouble breathing, swelling in your legs or are unusually tired contact your doctor immediately.

In an effort to help our patients living with NAFLD we are currently conducting a clinical trial. If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible to participate in one of our trials use this form to contact our Clinical Research Coordinator. Please remember that not everyone is eligible for every trial. We will do our best to match the best-qualified patient with each trial.

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