NAFLD Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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The liver is one of the most vital organs in our bodies. It is impossible to survive without the life-sustaining functions it provides. Understandably, how well we take care of our liver impacts its ability to function properly. National Liver Awareness Month is an annual designation occurring in October to create awareness around liver health. By giving it the attention it deserves, we can stay healthy for as long as possible.

Why the Liver is Important

The liver is the second largest organ in your body and is located right under your rib cage on your right side. Your liver processes what you consume and breaks it down into nutrients your body uses. It also:

  • Cleans your blood of toxins
  • Gives you energy
  • Produces bile for digestion

Causes of Liver Disease

There are over 100 different diseases that can damage the liver. Nevertheless, most damage the liver in similar ways and follow the same progression. The common causes of liver disease include:

  • Viruses
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Excessive abuse of alcohol
  • Unhealthy diet and obesity
  • Medication side effects, illegal drugs, or toxic chemicals

National Liver Awareness Month

Liver disease affects from 50 million to 100 million individuals globally. Numerous diseases pose an increasing concern, such as liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and hepatitis. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America. Despite the growing prevalence, there is hope. With early detection and treatment, the progression can be stopped or reversed. Those at risk of developing liver disease can also potentially prevent its onset.

An estimated 30 million Americans suffer from NASH

 Start taking care of your liver today. You can celebrate National Liver Awareness Month by taking some simple steps towards liver health, such as:

  • Work towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthier by avoiding high-calorie meals, refined carbohydrates like white bread/enriched flour, and eat a good amount of fiber.
  • Exercise regularly up to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Use alcohol responsibly.
  • Avoid using drugs.
  • Follow prescribed directions on all your medications.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

The liver pulls its weight, it's time you pulled yours.

Are you concerned about your risk of liver disease? Arizona Liver Health can help! We offer FREE liver scans using fibroscan technology for adults at risk of developing liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick, painless way to determine liver health. Individuals whose results indicate the presence of liver disease will also have an option to learn more about our enrolling liver research studies. Schedule your appointment today! Call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website for more details and online request form.

Sources:

https://nationaltoday.com/national-liver-awareness-month/

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-liver-awareness-month-october/

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/


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September 29, 2021 Cirrhosisfibroscan0

Cirrhosis of the liver is a progressive disease, developing slowly over many years. If allowed to continue, the buildup of scar tissue can eventually stop liver function. Because of the gradual decline, liver cirrhosis often goes undetected and unnoticed. You can potentially catch cirrhosis from the start by knowing the signs and your risk for liver disease.

The Silent Organ

The liver is known as a silent organ because when symptoms of liver disease become apparent, it is typically in the later stages of the disease. If you’re at increased risk of liver disease, you can work with your doctor for annual screenings and lifestyle changes to protect your liver. Risk factors include:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, C, and D)
  • Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
  • Being overweight
  • Insulin resistance
  • Family history

Signs of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions. Each time your liver is injured, it tries to repair itself. This process causes the formation of scar tissue. As cirrhosis progresses, more scar tissue forms, eventually making it difficult for the liver to function (decompensated cirrhosis).

cirrhosis may cause loss of appetite

While the damage done by cirrhosis generally can’t be undone, if diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited and, rarely, reversed. As scar tissue accumulates, the ability of the liver to function properly is affected. The following signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Blood capillaries become visible on the skin on the upper abdomen.
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Pain or tenderness in the area where the liver is located
  • Red or blotchy palms
  • Weakness

If you’re looking to get your liver health back on track, Arizona Liver Health can help. After all, liver health is in our name. We offer FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease to test for liver fat and fibrosis, which may lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. We also provide an opportunity to participate in one of our enrolling clinical trials to help advance the treatment of liver diseases for those with liver disease. To learn more, call us at 480-470-4000, or visit us online today!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172295#treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

 

 


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Cirrhosis is when the permanent scarring of the liver has replaced the healthy tissue. While cirrhosis is most often associated with chronic alcohol consumption, it is brought about by many types of liver disease. Here’s how you get from liver disease to cirrhosis.

Inflammation to Fibrosis

When you have liver disease, the liver enters into a perilous cycle to heal itself. The immune system sends the signal to repair cells triggering chronic inflammation and to continue depositing collagen. In a healthy liver, the collagen stiffens around the tissue, and any extra is discarded. However, with liver disease, there is no signal to stop the inflammation discarding the excess collagen. So, the inflammation and more deposits of collagen continues. This leads to more liver stiffening and the development of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is when collagen and other proteins build up between the cells. This forms scar tissue which can block or limit blood flow within the liver, eventually starving and killing healthy liver cells. More scar tissue forms, and unlike healthy liver cells, it cannot function or repair itself.

Fibrosis to Cirrhosis

While fibrosis is reversible even into the later stages of liver disease, there is a point where the damage is too significant, and the liver can’t fix itself. No treatment can cure cirrhosis; by staying away from things that could harm your liver further, like liquor, certain drugs, and fatty food, you can help improve some of the scarrings. Treatment for individuals with cirrhosis includes managing its symptoms and treating the underlying cause to prevent liver function from worsening or liver failure. Those with cirrhosis have a high risk of developing liver cancer and eventually needing a transplant.

Our livers are versatile, continuing to work even when they’ve become seriously scarred. Most individuals with liver disease do not know it until routine blood work picks it up or symptoms become present in the later stages. Talk with your doctor about preventative measures you can take if you’re at risk of liver disease.

Regular liver checks are important for those at high risk of liver disease.

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick way to determine the health of your liver and the presence of liver disease. Should your results indicate fatty liver or other liver conditions, our staff will talk with you about enrolling studies that may be an option. To learn more, call us at (480) 470-4000, or fill out a request form online today!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/#cirrhosis-severe-scarring


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Having liver disease affects the person with it but also loved ones around them. Often a family member or friend fills the role of meeting a variety of physical and emotional needs. If you are a caregiver for someone with liver disease, here are some tips to help you feel better prepared to handle your loved ones’ needs.

Caregivers Help When Necessary

Most who care for a loved one with liver disease don’t consider themselves a “caregiver” initially. In reality, you play an essential role in your loved one’s life by lending a hand with the following.

Daily Tasks

  • Feeding, bathing, grooming, and dressing.
  • Cleaning, cooking/meal preparation, and running errands.
  • Manage finances/provide financial support
  • Emotional support and companionship

Medical Tasks

  • Keeping medication schedules on time. Examples are giving reminders of dose times. Also, keeping track of supply and need for refills.
  • Recognizing signs and symptoms of worsening liver disease, as well as medication side effects.
  • Manage medical records and schedule their medical appointments.
  • Provide transportation to appointments, shopping, and other events.

Helpful Tips for Managing Caregiver Demands

caregiver

A caregiver manages their loved one’s daily life. Likewise, you are also managing your own family and personal needs. Here are some tips developed from expert advice and others who have cared for those with liver disease:

Daily

  • Ask for help from other family members or friends to help avoid caregiver burnout.
  • Take care of your physical and emotional health too. Take time daily to break away and do something that brings you joy. The better you care for yourself, the better you can care for your loved one.
  • Learn as much as you can about their condition. This way, you become informed of the best ways to help them thrive.

Emotions

  • Take one day at a time and learn ways to manage stress better. Understand that frustration from your loved one isn’t purposeful or personal.
  • Contact your benefits advisor at your workplace to verify what support resources are available. Including free counseling sessions, legal aid, etc.
  • Build a support network to connect with others who are going through the same experiences that you are.

Medical

  • Ensure your healthcare provider has given you a complete understanding of the information provided in each appointment.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about arranging home care services if needed.

Finances

  • Check with your bank or financial advisor to review any short-term solutions to help with any financial changes causing strain.
  • Meet with other family members to involve everyone in future planning, more importantly, to better allocate financial responsibilities.

Having liver disease and needing the help of a caregiver can be challenging. Your loved one may feel defeated and a burden on you and other loved ones. Participating in clinical research studies can help them give back by advancing medicine for liver disease. Volunteering has been shown to counteract symptoms of anxiety, depression and boost confidence.

Invest in your liver health

If your loved one has liver disease, enrolling liver disease research studies here at Arizona Liver Health may be an option. For more information, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.liver.ca/patients-caregivers/for-caregivers/

https://liverfoundation.org/caregivers/tips-for-caregivers/


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The number of U.S. adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) currently sits around 25%. Approximately 2-3% of them will go on to develop non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a more severe form of NAFLD and can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. By 2030, it is estimated this number will increase from 2-3% to up to 63%. Among the ethnic groups affected, Hispanic populations face the most significant risk of liver disease. Here’s why.

Dangers of NASH and Prevalence in Hispanics

NASH often stems from high-sugar, high-fat diets. To compensate, our livers begin storing excess fat. If nothing changes, inflammation occurs over time. Eventually, the inflammation progresses to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, the need for a liver transplant, and even death. NASH also has a close association with other conditions such as heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in patients.

Thirty million Americans have NASH. The problem is most don’t know it because there typically aren’t any symptoms. Liver disease is a top cause of death among Hispanics, with NAFLD being among the most prevalent type. Hispanics are more often diagnosed in more advanced stages of liver disease and less likely to get help. Hispanic mortality rates are double that of other races.

Risk Factors

Multiple factors are contributing to the disproportionate effects of liver disease on Hispanics. Each element is also a top cause of fatty liver disease. These include:

  • 43% of Hispanics in the U.S. are considered obese
  • 35% of Hispanics in the U.S. have metabolic syndrome
  • Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar
  • Many Hispanics possess the gene variation PNPLA3, which is associated with a heightened risk of NAFLD and NASH

The predisposition of Hispanics to these multiple risk factors further increases their risk higher than other ethnicities.

Be Proactive with Your Liver Health

By knowing the risk, Hispanic individuals can take steps to protect their liver health proactively. You can work with your doctor to routinely check your liver for any changes. Those with NAFLD or NASH can slow, stop, or reverse disease progression through healthier lifestyle changes. Prevention is also possible for at-risk individuals. Here are three lifestyle changes you can start immediately:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a well-balanced, sensible diet
  • Exercising moderately at least five days a week for 30 minutes or longer

Lifestyle changes are the basis of liver disease treatment and prevention. By reversing the same behaviors that contribute to this condition, you can make a big impact on a healthier, better-functioning liver. The liver is a regenerative organ and can heal itself if caught in time. Don’t wait!

Millions of livers suffer in silence

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease. A fibroscan is a test that detects the stiffness in a liver to determine fatty liver disease or other conditions. It’s a quick, painless way to evaluate the health of your liver, and the results are immediate. There’s no cure for NASH. As a result, potential treatment options are under investigation in clinical research studies. If your results show the presence of liver disease, our team with review enrolling study options that may help.

Schedule your FREE fibroscan today! Call us at (480) 470-4000, or request an appointment online.

Sources:

https://txliver.com/media/hispanics-and-liver-disease/

https://salud-america.org/the-silent-liver-disease-epidemic-among-latinos/


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Indeed, the liver is a resilient, amazing organ. However, it isn’t indestructible, and its health is vital to your body’s overall wellness. Anyone can develop liver disease, so Arizona Liver Health has 10 tips to keep your liver happy and healthy.

10 Tips for Overall Liver Health

Take good care of your liver and your liver will take good care of you

1. Maintain a healthy weight.

Even those somewhat overweight are in danger of having a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Losing weight can play a vital role in helping to reduce liver fat.

2. Eat healthily.

Avoid foods high in calories, sugars, and saturated fats. A well-adjusted diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, rice, and cereals. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good fats. They are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish are “good” fats. Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water. Avoid raw or contaminated seafood or shellfish to be safe.

3. Exercise regularly.

Exercising consistently (30 minutes per day, 5 days a week) helps burn triglycerides for fuel. It can also reduce liver fat.

4. Keep chronic conditions managed.

Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are major risk factors for fatty liver disease. Keeping them under reasonable control with diet can help limit and prevent liver damage.

5. Limit alcohol use.

Overindulging in alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells and scar your liver. Talk to your doctor about what the right amount of alcohol is for you.

6. Cut down smoking or stop smoking. 

Smoking has been linked to liver cancer and can also enhance the toxic effects that some medications have on the liver.

7. Practice safe sex.

Having unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk of developing hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

8. Wash your hands.

Use soap and warm water immediately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. Also before preparing or eating food.

9. Follow given directions on all medications.

You can harm your liver when you take medications incorrectly or by taking too much. Always let your doctor know about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural remedies that you use.

10. Get available hepatitis vaccinations.

Currently, there are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is not a vaccine for hepatitis C.

Arizona Liver Health is committed to advancing options for liver disease patients through the research studies we conduct. Volunteers participating in clinical research make these advancements possible. When you have liver disease, and you join a study, you prioritize your health by learning more about your condition and potentially gaining access to new therapies not publicly available.

Don't leave your liver to fend for itself

To see how you can get involved in one of our enrolling liver studies, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

References:

https://www.healthxchange.sg/digestive-system/liver/tips-healthy-liver

https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/

 



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