liver health Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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Jaundice is a yellowing of the eye sclera (the white part) and skin because there’s too much bilirubin in the blood. There are many causes of jaundice. However, for people living with liver disease, jaundice is a common nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) complication.

Bilirubin, the Liver, and Jaundice

Jaundice

Bilirubin is formed while recycling old or damaged red blood cells. The bilirubin travels through the bloodstream to the liver. Then, it binds with bile and moves through the bile ducts into the digestive tract for removal from the body. Jaundice can develop when bilirubin levels build up in the blood and deposit in the skin. Any disease or other factor that prevents bilirubin from being eliminated from the body can lead to jaundice. The most common causes are:

  • Liver infections, like hepatitis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstone disease
  • Some medicines and herbal supplements
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cancer of the gallbladder or pancreas

Bilirubin

In addition, high bilirubin levels can cause an accumulation of substances the body forms when it breaks bile down. This can lead to itching all over the body.

Hepatitis and Jaundice

The word hepatitis means liver inflammation and is a crucial part of the damage to the liver NASH causes. NASH is a more severe form of fatty liver disease where there is an excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. While a simple fatty liver isn’t necessarily harmful, it can progress to NASH which is marked by chronic inflammation.

In some individuals, the accumulation of fat in the liver triggers the body’s healing response. The immune response includes:

  • Inflammation (increases oxygen-rich blood and other nutrients to damaged areas)
  • Liver cell repair
  • Application of collagen to protect healing areas

Normally, this is a self-limiting reaction, which means that once repairs and healing are complete, the body sends a signal to the immune system to switch off the healing response. With NASH and other liver diseases, most people are unaware they have a condition because there are no noticeable symptoms at first. If you don’t know something is wrong, you also don’t seek treatment or make healthier lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of fat in the liver.

This means that the liver continues accumulating fat and, therefore, continues the healing response. Eventually, chronic liver inflammation begins to scar and damage the liver replacing healthy liver cells with stiff, fibrous, non-functioning scar tissue. Over time, the liver can progress into cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. Without enough healthy cells, the liver cannot perform its vital functions, including moving the bilirubin through the bile ducts.

Reducing the Prevalence of NASH

The prevalence of NASH is growing at an alarming rate in America. There are no FDA-approved treatments available currently for NASH, but potential new options are being evaluated in clinical trials. Arizona Liver Health offers a FREE fibroscan to adults at risk of liver disease to check the health of their liver. To schedule your FREE fibroscan appointment or explore our enrolling NASH studies, contact us today at (480) 470-4000!

Sources:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/liver-and-gallbladder-disorders/manifestations-of-liver-disease/jaundice-in-adults

https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2017/0201/p164-s1.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15367-adult-jaundice


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Liver health is essential to the function of the human body. It performs over 500 functions to keep the body healthy. A few examples are flushing out toxins, processing food, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Hepatitis is one of the most common conditions that can permanently damage the liver without proper treatment. Learning more about hepatitis and what you need to know to take care of your liver are the most important steps you can take for a healthier future.

What is Hepatitis?

The definition of hepatitis means liver inflammation and is commonly the result of a contagious viral infection. Some types of hepatitis are non-viral, meaning one person cannot pass it to another. For example, autoimmune hepatitis typically has a genetic origin, and alcoholic hepatitis develops from excessive drinking. An individual can also contract the types of hepatitis spread by consuming contaminated food and drinks and mixing their bodily fluids with an infected person. There are six main types of hepatitis, but A, B, and C (Hep A, Hep B, Hep C) are the three most prevalent.

Hepatitis

Symptoms of hepatitis vary from mild to severe and can be acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic (lasting more than six months). Treatments are available for every type of hepatitis. However, types A and C are the only curable ones now. As far as vaccines, both A and B have vaccines available. It’s safe to vaccinate against Hep A starting at one year old, while Hep B vaccination series can start sooner in infants.

Keeping the liver healthy with hepatitis is critical. Now, let’s talk about some ways to help!

A Balanced Diet and Hydration

Maintaining a balanced diet starts by reducing refined carbs such as white bread and processed sweets. Instead, try incorporating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It would be best if you also were mindful of the types of fats consumed. Consider eating modest quantities of meat and dairy. Additionally, try incorporating more monounsaturated fats commonly found in seeds, nuts, and fish.

Ways to love your liver

Furthermore, drinking enough water for proper hydration is essential to help flush the liver. Not to be a Debbie downer, but depending on the type of hepatitis, your doctor may recommend cutting out alcohol completely. The reason is that alcohol damages the liver, so limiting your intake is essential for the liver to keep functioning correctly. The good news for coffee lovers is that coffee is a beverage known to promote liver health. So, brew, French press, or pour your favorite java over ice for up to three servings a day!

Healthy Lifestyle

In addition to eating a balanced diet, you can further promote your liver health and prevent liver disease by:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Staying physically active

Whether it’s weightlifting, swimming, or even a walk in the neighborhood, exercise can also turn triglycerides into fuel, reducing liver fat. A diagnosis of hepatitis doesn’t have to lead to liver damage. When you know how to keep your liver healthy and take the necessary steps, you have the power to live a healthier future.

An unhealthy diet can bully your liver into poor health

Check out this link to learn more about our liver studies and how participating in research can help you take the first steps on your journey to health. Our caring site staff can also answer any questions by contacting us at (480) 470-4000.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/abc/index.htm#:~:text=Hepatitis%20means%20inflammation%20of%20the,medical%20conditions%20can%20cause%20hepatitis

https://www.who.int/health-topics/hepatitis


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When it comes to detecting and identifying the severity of liver disease, the gold standard is typically a liver biopsy. Newer technological advances have paved the way for other non-invasive options such as the fibroscan. It comes without any risks. It’s also cheaper, quicker, and more accurate. If you are at risk for or already have liver disease, your overall health depends on early detection and regular monitoring. Both are just some of the reasons your liver can benefit from fibroscan technology.

Time-Tested, Trusted Technology.

For decades, ultrasound technology has enabled us to see a growing baby in the womb and many other medical uses. Fibroscan technology harnesses this technology to measure the stiffness of the liver. As the sound waves pass through the liver, the device measures how fast they go. The faster they move, through it, the greater the degree of fibrosis or stiffness. There are over 100 types of liver disease. However, most will follow the same path of progressive damage.

Don't treat your liver like chopped liver

Chronic inflammation as the body repeatedly attempts to heal the liver ironically ends up doing the exact opposite. In a healthy liver, the body produces and transports collagen to repair the damage. It does this by surrounding healthy tissue and strengthening it. With liver disease, more collagen is sent than needed. It builds up between liver cells, binding with other proteins forming scar tissue or fibrosis. The scarring can reduce or stop blood flow, starving and killing healthy cells. More scarring occurs, eventually replacing more and more healthy cells with non-function performing scar tissue.

Early Detection, Progression Monitoring, Lifesaving. 

The liver is a regenerative organ and can heal itself even well into the later stages of liver disease. Ideally, those at risk of developing liver disease would work with their doctor to proactively monitor their liver health. By measuring the degree of stiffness, fibroscan technology can detect the presence of liver issues. Similarly, it is an essential monitoring tool for managing disease progression, stagnation, and regression.

There isn’t a limit to the number of times your provider can perform a fibroscan. In turn, this allows for real-time results measuring how well lifestyle modifications and other therapies are working. The best part is that along with typical lab tests, fibroscan technology continues reducing the need for liver biopsies. Ultimately, it is improving, prolonging, and easing the management of the lives of liver disease patients. Your liver really can benefit from a fibroscan!

Free fibroscan for adults at risk

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of developing liver disease. Based on the exam results, you may be eligible to participate in currently enrolling research studies evaluating potential new options for liver diseases like NASH. Take control of your liver health today! Schedule your free screen by calling (480) 470-4000 or requesting an appointment online.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3594956/

https://hemaware.org/bleeding-disorders-z/do-wave

https://www.hje.org.uk/benefits-fibroscan-liver-health/



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