What is NASH?

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ASH (Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis) is the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is a set of liver diseases associated with metabolic disorder, in contrast to liver damage caused mainly by overconsumption of alcohol. The disorder impairs function of the liver and can ultimately result in loss of liver function requiring an organ transplant.

What Conditions Are Associated With NASH?

Many medical researchers consider NASH a “lifestyle disease” associated with poor diet and low levels of exercise. In particular, NASH is associated with hypertension, heart disease, and adult onset diabetes, including pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) and Type 2 diabetes.

Adults of any age are more likely to suffer from NASH if they are overweight or obese. As Body Mass Index (BMI) increases, so does risk of NASH. A NASH diagnosis indicates the patient is much more likely than the average person to pass away if they experience heart attack or stroke.

NASH gradually leads to ballooning and inflation of liver tissue that can result in severe scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis. Scarred liver tissue reduces the overall function of the liver. In many cases, NASH is difficult to diagnose until these perilous later stages of the disease.

NASH Recovery and Lifestyle Changes

NASH is a progressive disease that worsens over time due to liver inflammation and the build-up of fat in the liver. Damage cannot be reversed. However, treatment and lifestyle changes can result in slowing the progression of the disease and create a better prognosis.

Reducing body fat is one of the most important ways to manage NASH. At the same time, many patients will go on treatment to reduce their cholesterol levels. Patients should be monitored for signs of diabetes. If diabetes develops, it should be aggressively controlled.

In addition to regular exercise, NASH patients should eliminate the use of alcohol. Because the liver is the body’s only mechanism for controlling the harmful health effects of alcohol, reduced liver function can result in undesirable side effects and further organ damage.

Current NASH Medical Research

NASH medical research has become more frequent and sophisticated in recent years. A variety of NASH clinical trials have attempted to find new treatment options. One promising piece of NASH clinical research focused on the use of Metformin, an oral diabetes medication.

By helping patients control blood sugar levels, NASH treatment may become more effective in slowing the progression of the disease. Likewise, NASH trials have pointed the way to managing other risk factors, such as cholesterol level, in ways that benefit more patients.

NASH Clinical Trials

This list of NASH clinical trials includes all current NASH clinical research on file at ClinicalTrials.gov. To add a NASH clinical trial to our database, please contact our team.

Why Are More NASH Clinical Trials Necessary?

There are certain clear risk factors for NASH, but its actual cause remains unknown. Partially because of this, new NASH medications often need to be tested for many months or years before they become widely available. NASH clinical trials help doctors learn more about the disease and accelerate new NASH treatments.

Conclusion

NASH has gained considerable attention in recent years. About 40% of Americans have some degree of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and up to 20% of those people have NASH. This makes it a public health concern affecting millions of adults.

NASH clinical research is a crucial part of understanding this condition. Lifestyle, genetics, and demographic factors all interact to produce NASH. Each NASH clinical trial is a concrete step toward understanding those features and discovering a true cure for NASH.