Clinical Research Archives - Page 4 of 4 - AZ Clinical Trials

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January 12, 2021 Clinical Researchliver0

Performing over 5,000 vital functions to sustain life and regeneration are some of the liver’s most remarkable features. It truly is an extraordinary organ, but it is not invincible. The celebrations of the holidays can add extra strain to your liver. If you have liver disease, these overindulgences can cause lasting effects. It’s the new year, but you have the same liver. While you are making your resolutions, consider a new diet to keep your liver healthy.

Your Liver’s Depending on You

The liver filters everything you eat and drink, and that is absorbed into your body. It can’t control what you put into it, but you can control how well it functions. Chronic alcohol consumption and foods high in saturated fats and processed sugars take a toll on the liver. These cause some of the most common liver conditions, such as alcohol and non-alcohol related fatty liver diseases.

Mediterranean diet foods, liver health, clinical research

Each liver patient has individual diet needs, so talk with your doctor about what’s right for you. Here are some general tips everyone’s liver can benefit from:

Foods good for the liver in addition to a balanced diet:

  • Coffee– Lowers the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with chronic liver disease.
  • Grapefruit– Grapefruit contain antioxidants that naturally protect the liver from injury.
  • Blueberries and Cranberries– Consuming these fruits for 3–4 weeks has been shown to protect the liver from damage.
  • Foods High in Fiber– Fiber helps your liver work at an optimal level.
  • Drink Plenty of Water– Water helps your liver function better by keeping your body hydrated.

Foods to avoid:

  • Any foods high in saturated fats
  • Those containing high levels of sugar and salt
  • Stay clear of fried foods, including fast food restaurant meals
  • Raw or undercooked shellfish should be avoided as well
  • If you are allowed alcohol, limit to one drink per day

The Silent Killer

Liver disease is progressive and typically takes years to develop. Often, there are no noticeable signs of an issue until the later stages. Diabetes, alcoholism, and obesity are the top risk factors. If you’re at risk, schedule a FREE fibroscan to check your liver health with us today. Fibroscans are a quick, non-invasive, painless scan that can determine if you have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or other fatty liver diseases. If your results indicate an abnormal function, our staff will discuss enrolling you in one of our liver disease studies here at Arizona Liver Health.

Liver inflammation and liver cell damage equal NASH, clinical research

Clinical research studies and the volunteers who participate in them make advancements in liver patients’ healthcare possible. To learn how you can get involved, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our study listing on our website.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-for-your-liver#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/nutrition/?gclid=CjwKCAiAoOz-BRBdEiwAyuvA69fghB4XiYIBdlbZL4zIf8PEl2b-ju8gvq3IdkqgcN7Kl6VEn4gf6hoCNO0QAvD_BwE


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One of the best things about the holiday season is that goodwill towards others takes it up a notch as people race to pay it forward. The desire to give back is a perfect segue into volunteering in a clinical research study. Here at Arizona Liver Health, our mission is to advance the care of those impacted by liver disease. Volunteering in research studies is the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s why.

Woman holding gift and smiling, give back, clinical research

What is a Clinical Research Study?

Research studies are the primary way to determine if a new drug, device, vaccine, or therapeutic approach is safe and effective in people. Each potential new option may provide a treatment path where none existed previously. They may also be the same as or more effective than other available options or they hope to offer a new way to detect or prevent a specific medical condition.

After extensive laboratory testing, they move on to be analyzed in clinical research studies. Volunteers of all ages, ethnicities, and genders are necessary for these studies to see how these work in the human body. Those with the condition the study aims to treat and those generally in good health are needed. The FDA regulates and monitors studies over every research phase and must have their approval before becoming available to the public.

How Can I Sign Up as a Volunteer?

Each study has specific criteria that determine the ideal candidate for which the trial was designed. While you may not be the right candidate for one study, others may be a better fit. Once you apply, the medical team will then contact you and gather all pertinent information.

Qualified candidates then move on to the informed consent process and so forth. Any that are not a good fit have the option of being alerted of future studies or looking into other options.

Advancing Medicine and Beyond

Advancing medicine is a way to give back that never runs out or expires. Qualified candidates may also gain access to new options not publicly available that may be as good as or better than what is available now. Our medical staff’s expert care ensures you are prioritizing your health while learning more about your condition. Oftentimes, reimbursements for time and travel may be available for those who qualify—making it a great way to earn some extra cash around the holidays.

Tis the season to give back through research, clinical research

Volunteering in clinical research studies isn’t the right decision for everyone. We would love to answer any questions you may have for those wanting to know more about our studies here at Arizona Liver Health. To view a listing of current studies, a brief overview of each is available on our website’s study page. Or, give us a call today at (480) 470-4000.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5339376/

https://www.antidote.me/blog/why-volunteer-for-research-studies


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December 15, 2020 CirrhosisClinical Research0

Cirrhosis is the replacement of healthy liver tissue with non-living scar tissue. It is a complication of liver disease from the progressive damage caused if not treated. Most people have no symptoms in the early stages, where the progression has the greatest chance of being reversed. If you are at risk for liver disease, the time to act is now.

What Causes Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is the result of chronic inflammation and swelling that scars the liver. It can take many years to get to this stage. Many different liver diseases can progress to cirrhosis. However, the most common ones are Hepatitis C, Alcohol-related Liver Disease (ARLD), Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), and Hepatitis B.

20% of people with NASH may develop cirrhosis, liver disease research

In general, alcohol addiction and obesity are risk factors that can predispose you to liver disease and, ultimately, cirrhosis. NAFLD is the most common liver disease where fat accumulates in the liver and eventually can progress to liver failure. Insulin resistance, family history, metabolic syndrome, sedentary lifestyle, and chronic consumption of foods high in calories and fat are risk factors for NAFLD.

Cirrhosis Stages

The progression has 4 stages. The stage also determines whether the liver is compensated or decompensated. Compensated means the liver can still perform most of its essential functions despite scarring. Decompensated means the scarring now prevents the liver from functioning properly.

  1. Stage 1– Some scarring of the liver, but no complications and few symptoms.
  2. Stage 2– Blood flow through the liver becomes blocked, and pressure increases inside it. Enlarged veins that are a result of the added strain. Fatigue, itching, loss of appetite, fluid retention in legs, and bruising are more symptoms.
  3. Stage 3– The liver scarring becomes advanced, and the abdomen swells. Possible liver failure and serious complications can occur. This stage marks the transition into decompensated cirrhosis. Yellowing of the eyes and skin, brain fog, slurred speech, redness of the palms of hands, and internal bleeding are other symptoms.
  4. Stage 4– End-stage liver disease can develop, which is fatal if a transplant is not found.

Early Detection and Treatment

The liver is an amazing organ that can regenerate itself. Even with some scarring, the liver can heal itself well into the later stages when caught and treated. Cirrhosis has no cure. Though, by addressing any underlying conditions, making healthier lifestyle changes, and medications to control symptoms, patients can manage the progression. If you’re at risk, talk with your doctor.

Did you know fatty liver can lead to cirrhosis, liver disease research

Arizona Liver Health conducts free fibroscans that can detect diseases of the liver such as NAFLD and NASH. Once results are ready, our medical staff will help you determine if additional steps are needed. If your results indicate abnormal liver function, our team will discuss enrolling studies for the liver that may be an option. Schedule your FREE fibroscan today! Request an appointment here.

References:

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/cirrhosis/#information-for-the-newly-diagnosed

https://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-treatment#2


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November 24, 2020 Clinical ResearchNash0

Every liver has a small amount of fat in it. With fatty liver, unhealthy fat levels begin to accumulate, leading to liver damage if not treated. There are various types of fatty liver disease, but NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and alcoholic fatty liver disease are the two main types. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the middle stage in the progression to irreversible liver damage. NASH is primarily influenced by our diet, activity, and unhealthy choices. It is a modern lifestyle disease and a silent killer.

NASH Spelled Out

When your liver accumulates too much fat, a series of events is triggered that begin the liver’s progressive damage. It starts with a simple fatty liver, then as the fat continues to accumulate, your immune system is activated, signaling it needs to fight what is causing the buildup. If the fat isn’t reduced, the immune response never turns off and begins to scar the liver. Scars tissue grows and will start to replace healthy liver tissue, in a process known as fibrosis.

Nash symptoms, clinical research

NASH is the stage where fibrosis starts becoming more widespread. If diagnosed and treated here, there is a chance the liver can repair itself over time. It is often called the tipping point because, eventually, irreversible damage begins in the cirrhosis stage if not treated. Liver complications, liver cancer, and finally, liver failure follow. They call it the silent killer because it often goes unnoticed until the later stages, and there is no hope of restoring the liver.

Early Stages:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen

Later Stages:

  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface
  • Red palms
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Influenced by Lifestyle

Chronic, excessive calorie intake and sedentary lifestyle are some of the heaviest influences in developing fatty liver disease. The liver is a resilient organ, and if diagnosed at the beginning of progression, can heal itself in due time. Early intervention focuses on spreading awareness of the risk factors:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • High blood lipid levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity

Clinical Research Studies’ Impact on NASH

Though it’s possible to reverse liver damage in most of the stages of fatty liver disease, chances decrease as time goes by. If you are at risk of fatty liver disease and NASH, making healthier lifestyle changes not only reduces your risk of developing NAFLD but also halting it in its’ tracks. Staying active regularly, controlling your weight, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol are recommended. If you smoke, stop. If you use drugs, stop. You can’t live without a liver.

Arizona Liver Health is conducting FREE fibroscans, which are a quick, painless way to detect NAFLD and NASH. Our team will discuss the results and options and opportunities going forward. If your results indicate abnormal levels, we will talk to you about our research studies looking into new ways to treat NASH. There are no current treatment options specific to NASH, so this is a great opportunity to improve patients’ care and be a part of history.

Fibroscan, NASH, Clinical research

Are you concerned about your NASH risk? There’s no time to waste; get your FREE fibroscan today here at Arizona Liver Health. Visit our website to learn more!

References:

https://www.the-nash-education-program.com/what-is-nash/

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/#1503432933768-040e8645-d918

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567

 


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November 10, 2020 Clinical ResearchCOVID-190

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we cleared store shelves to prepare for what we feared was the worst. Families of healthcare workers, emergency responders, and other high-risk positions set up decontamination protocols in their homes in hopes of avoiding infection. Unfortunately, COVID-19 can still hit your household, despite all precautions. With a little preparation and determination, your family can get through it in the safest possible way.

Challenges of a COVID-19 Household

When someone is diagnosed in your family, the main thing is isolating them to prevent the virus from spreading. However, space and their function in the family role can make this a real challenge, among other things. Tasks shift from two to one, which puts pressure on the other partner who is likely already maxed out. This is true especially if there are children involved. Stress and emotions can build up for who it all falls on, and fear and guilt in the sick family member. The challenges may vary from home to home, but it’s tough any way you look at it.

Separate but Unified

Woman with mask, COVID-19 clinical research

Dealing with a loved one who has COVID-19 can be a scary experience. Even though you are separated from your loved one, you can help them get better and keep everyone else safe by staying the course. There are many things to remember when it comes to taking care of someone with COVID-19. We understand that everyone’s situation is different, but these can be used as a guide to get started and can be modified:

  • Function as a Unit: Identify one person who isn’t in the high-risk categories to care for the sick person. A separate person should be responsible for family members who need help with daily tasks like bathing, cleaning, and eating.
  • Separate Space: Pick a sick room and bathroom. If this cannot be achieved, separate a space in a shared room by a divider, and maintain 6 feet of distance at all times. The sick person should clean a shared bathroom after each use. All shared areas should be well-ventilated and cleaned frequently.
  • Keep Your Distance: Maintain 6 feet away from those who are sick at all times. Ill family members should not prepare food and should eat separately from others.

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of you. Reach out if you are overwhelmed or need help so you can get the support needed.

Changing the Future of COVID-19

Having COVID-19 and being in isolation can make you feel like a burden as you struggle to let others care for you. It’s hard to ride out not only the illness symptoms themselves but also complete quarantine after. Just keep in mind that your most significant role is keeping your family safe. By separation, you are doing that.

African American woman wondering, positive covid-19 test, clinical research

Researchers and other health experts have all hands-on deck as they work to find ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent COVID-19. Clinical research studies are being conducted right now, which are looking into some of the promising options in the fight against COVID-19. The volunteers participating in studies make this possible. If you or a loved one have COVID-19, you have a unique opportunity to change the virus’s future. To learn if volunteering in COVID trials here at Arizona Clinical Trials is right for you, visit our website for more information, or call (480) 360-4000.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/living-in-close-quarters.html


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October 19, 2020 Clinical ResearchPCOS0

1 in 10 women of childbearing age is affected by polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. PCOS is caused by imbalanced reproductive hormones. In a healthy menstrual cycle, the ovaries make the egg that is released during the process, but with PCOS, the egg is not released or may not develop properly. Elevated male hormones (androgens) and insulin levels are contributing factors of PCOS. In addition to irregular cycles, weight gain, excess hair, and potential infertility issues, having PCOS doubles your risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and other metabolic complications.

PCOS and NAFLD Shared Mechanisms

Obesity and insulin resistance are common in women with PCOS. Insulin is a hormone the body produces that enables sugar to be converted into energy. Insulin also helps control the release and storage of fat cells. When there is a resistance to the effects of insulin, the sugar levels rise in the body. This triggers more insulin production to try and balance it out. The body also stores the fat instead of releasing it, making it harder to lose weight.

Non-Alcoholic fatty liver is a disease where too much fat begins to store in the liver, from non-alcohol-related causes. The liver has some fat in it typically, but inflammation is triggered when there is too much. As the body tries to repair itself, it can scar the liver with fibrosis, eventually damaging the liver if not treated. Risk factors for developing NAFLD are obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

To bring it all together, two symptoms of PCOS (obesity and insulin resistance) are two of the major contributing factors in developing NAFLD. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows the role excess male hormone levels play in triggering the inflammation response in fatty liver disease.

The Silent Progression of NAFLD

How contributing factors of NAFLD and PCOS symptoms influence each other remains a mystery. Fatty liver disease often goes unnoticed until the later stages when it is more difficult to treat, or the liver is irreversibly damaged. More research is needed to understand the metabolic complications resulting from PCOS entirely. However, what we know now can still help. If you have PCOS, you need to act now to reduce your risk. This includes healthy lifestyle changes, regular activity, and ensuring your doctor is screening your liver regularly.

Women with PCOS, Clinical research studies

For the women living with PCOS and NAFLD, clinical research studies help improve how the disease is detected, treated, and eventually prevented. Volunteers participating in research studies for NAFLD make these advancements possible. If you have NAFLD and PCOS, clinical research studies may be an option for you. To learn more about the studies enrolling for NAFLD for women with PCOS here at Arizona Liver, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.healio.com/news/primary-care/20180405/pcos-doubles-the-risk-for-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease#:~:text=n%20%3D%2049%2C625).-,In%20women%20with%20polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%2C%20the%20risk%20for%20nonalcoholic,the%20progression%20of%20the%20disease.&text=Data%20indicated%20that%20women%20with,CI%2C%201.86%2D2.66)

https://www.medpagetoday.com/resource-centers/focus-on-womens-health/links-between-fatty-liver-disease-and-polycystic-ovary-syndrome-/834

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome


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September 15, 2020 Clinical ResearchCOVID-190

By now, most people have a backup mask in their vehicle, pocket, or purse, and sanitizer readily available. Staying six feet away has become 2nd nature, and asking, “Who’s going?” has taken on a whole new meaning. Many see their loved ones less, and some haven’t seen them since this all started. Thus, is life in the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has filtered into almost every aspect of our lives, with 6,503,030 total cases in the United States alone. The impact of COVID-19 reaches deep, and its changes continue to shape daily routines and life as we know it.

The Trail of Change

COVID-19, social distancing

Though some have fared better than others, no nation has escaped the power of COVID-19. We have been forced to rethink and improvise so life can continue. Technology has become a massive part of staying connected, education, and business in a contactless era.

Today, daily life looks much different than how we started the year. If your household has children, most educational institutions offer the choice of in-person (with CDC safeguards) or remote learning from home. Employers who have the resources either alternate staff during the week or have gone to work from home. Some bars sell food in a loophole effort to keep their doors open. Limited seating is available in restaurants. Many have begun to offer delivery or curbside service that previously wasn’t an option.

People are generally home more since events and gatherings over a certain amount are not allowed. We have tossed out the “5-second rule”, hugs, shaking hands, and any other non-immediate family direct contact. Smiles are hidden behind masks, non-emergency medical procedures are put off, and every sneeze is suspicious. Despite the numerous changes to our daily lives due to COVID-19, our continuance to move forward and make progress is a testament to our ability to adapt to change.

Volunteers and Research

Whether it’s helping at a food bank or making masks for those in need, lots of people are joining the effort to help others through volunteering. As researchers race to produce effective therapies and vaccines for COVID-19, volunteers continue to step up and join the fight to end it. Clinical research studies and the volunteers that participate in them help advance ways to detect, treat, and prevent different medical conditions like COVID-19.

Woman, COVID-19, Research volunteer

Without the efforts of study participants, these advancements would not be possible. To learn more about participating in research studies or view currently enrolling options here at Arizona Liver Health, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit us here.



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Call us to see if you or your patient qualify for a clinical trial.