Fatty liver disease Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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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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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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