NAFLD Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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Alcohol is one of the most widely used substances among America’s adult and teen populations, posing substantial health and safety risks. Even though most know the adverse effects of alcohol, many tend to do so without fully recognizing the health risks of consuming alcohol excessively. The liver is one of the essential organs in the body, and when it comes to alcohol, it can have devastating effects.

Your liver detoxifies your body, keeps you alert, and regulates your hormones

The Metabolization of Alcohol

On average, it takes the body about an hour to process one alcoholic beverage. Every additional drink increased that time frame. The more a person drinks, the longer it takes to process alcohol. That’s because the liver can only process so much at a time. When someone drinks too much, the alcohol left unprocessed by the liver circulates through the bloodstream and starts affecting the heart and brain. This is how people become intoxicated. Two liver enzymes begin to break apart the alcohol molecule so it the body can eventually eliminate them.

Woman on the floor with empty alcohol bottles

Alcohol’s Destruction

One of those enzymes, ADH, helps convert alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is only in the body for a short time, but it is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. Some small amounts of alcohol are also eliminated from the body by forming fatty acid compounds. These compounds can damage the liver and pancreas.

The toxic effects of acetaldehyde have been linked to the development of cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Upper respiratory tract
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Breasts

Chronic alcohol abuse (drinking 4 or 5 drinks in a row regularly) also destroys liver cells, which progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation) to cirrhosis (scarring). However, heavy drinkers may develop alcoholic cirrhosis without first developing hepatitis.

Is There a Safe Amount of Alcohol?

While there is no safe amount of alcohol you can consume, you can reduce your risk of liver damage by drinking less. Individuals can drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or one drink or less for women.

The purpose of a fibroscan

Does the health of your liver concern you? Arizona Liver Health offers a FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease. To learn more, call (480) 470-4000 or request an appointment online today!

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/alcohol-metabolism-key-to-alcohols-dangers-66524

https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/liver/


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April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a time to raise awareness about health disparities that affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups. Liver disease is growing in prevalence in the Hispanic population. It is also a leading cause of death in the U.S. Through education, we can lower the risk. Through participation, we can expand treatment options. These are some of the reasons minority participation in liver research matters.

Why Minorities Should Participate in Research

Diversity is vital in research because understanding how a condition affects different populations helps design safe, more effective treatments. Diversity is not just race and ethnicity but also gender, age, etc. Participants in clinical trials should represent the patient populations that will use the medical products. The reason is that people of different ages, races, and ethnicities may react differently to medical treatments.

Hispanics and Liver Disease

Hispanic middle aged couple preparing a meal

The most prevalent liver diseases in Hispanics are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), chronic hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. The risk factors for these conditions include:

  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Metabolic syndrome

7 symptoms of liver problems

When you look at the prevalence of these risk factors in Hispanics in the U.S., the results are:

  • 43% of Hispanics are considered obese
  • 35% of Hispanics have metabolic syndrome
  • Hispanic diets are traditionally high in carbohydrates and added sugars

In addition, many Hispanics in the U.S. possess a gene variation, PNPLA3, which has an association with a heightened risk for NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Liver Health is in Our Name!

Implementing the best education practices toward healthy lifestyle changes will help address the risks associated with cultural aspects. However, we need to do more work regarding the genetic predisposition and expanding treatments for individuals already living with liver disease. Why not trust the experts with “liver health” in their name when it comes to liver disease? For NMHM, consider giving back through research.

1 in 4 adults are living with liver disease

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans to adults at risk of liver disease and a chance to help advance care options for liver diseases through our studies. Get involved today! Contact us at (480) 470-4000 to learn more about your liver and options for treatment of liver disease, or visit our website.

Sources:

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

https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=62#:~:text=Both%20Hispanic%20men%20and%20women,their%20non%2DHispanic%20white%20counterparts.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/AZ


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March is Women’s History Month, and it commemorates women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. The 2022 theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” It is a tribute to the countless ways women of all cultures provide healing and hope now and throughout history. In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to share how liver disease impacts women and how we can help prioritize your liver health.

March is Women's History Month

Common Types of Liver Disease

Liver disease is a term that encompasses a variety of conditions that affect the functioning of the liver. However, there are more than 100 types, most progress in the same way. In the U.S., fatty liver diseases, both alcohol and non-alcohol-related, are most common. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Alcohol-related fatty liver disease (ALD) occurs when the liver accumulates an unhealthy amount of fat.

Chronic excessive alcohol consumption causes ALD. Obesity, insulin resistance, and unhealthy lifestyles are risk factors for NAFLD. Both conditions trigger chronic inflammation of the liver and progressively damage it over several years without noticeable symptoms. As a result, scarring of the liver ensues. Without treatment, the damage to the liver becomes severe and can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

How Liver Disease Affects Women

Hormonal changes and genetic makeup not only differentiate women from men, but they also influence:

  • Their response to medications and other things they consume
  • How diseases develop and progress
  • Why conditions are more prevalent in women versus men

These influences affect both forms of fatty liver disease in women by making them more susceptible to it. For example, women are more sensitive to drug or alcohol-related liver disease than men. Because females are smaller on average and have more body fat, both can cause them to metabolize drugs and alcohol at a slower rate than men. As a result, they are more sensitive to drug or alcohol-related liver disease and NAFLD.

Diverse group of women (1)

Checking Your Liver Health Can Change Everything

In 1966, James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome wrote It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World. The lyrics say, “This is a man’s world,…. But it wouldn’t be nothing,… without a woman or a girl.” To continue making history, women must also advocate and prioritize their health. Fatty liver disease is on the rise in epidemic proportions.

Don't pinch your luck. Get a fibroscan today

Arizona Liver Health offers a FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease. The fibroscan is a painless, quick procedure that checks the health of your liver. Schedule your appointment today! Call us at (480) 470-4000 or submit a request through our website.

Other Source:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/liver-and-gallbladder-disorders/alcohol-related-liver-disease/alcohol-related-liver-disease


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There’s a lot of love to celebrate during the month of February. However, some of the things we love are bad for our overall health. One of these areas is our obsession with the “western diet,” which is high in fats, sugars, and everything that harms our bodies over time. Even worse, this unhealthy form of love fuels a fatty liver epidemic that’s rising in America.

A picture of a liver laying on top of a wooden doll

Expanding Waistlines and Decreasing Health

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when the fat accumulates in the liver for reasons that are not related to alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some amount of fat. However, when more than 5% – 10% percent of the liver cells contain fat, it is called a fatty liver (steatosis). Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more severe form of NAFLD. NASH can cause the liver to swell and become damaged, eventually leading to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Common Causes of Liver Disease:

  • Viruses
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity and sedentary lifestyle
  • Reactions to medications
  • Street drugs
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals

Self-Love is Good for Your Liver Too.

Healthy food for a healthy liver

The greatest form of self-love is making sure you have a healthy body. To love yourself means making sure what you put into your body is healthy and staying physically active. Exercise is powerful medicine. It not only helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps prevent your body from developing certain diseases. Physical movement gets your heart pumping, which helps improve the circulation of oxygenated blood rich in vital nutrients to every working part of our body. The CDC recommends an exercise regimen of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and proper diet are great for your liver too. Not only can you potentially prevent liver disease from developing, but you can also slow, stop, or reverse the progression of the disease in individuals living with it. The team here at Arizona Liver Health hopes you’ll be inspired to love yourself a little more by making healthier choices this February and beyond.

How's your liver looking?

To learn how participating in research can help individuals currently living with liver disease, contact us at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website today!

Source:

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/#1577810249650-22c98dad-d443


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You can start this year on the right foot by taking proactive steps for your health and well-being. If you’ve been diagnosed with liver disease, keeping your liver healthy is essential. It’s a new year, and it’s time to set some new liver health goals.

Fighting Liver Disease Starts with Prevention

Stages of liver disease

The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if possible. However, the same tips that can help reduce your risk of liver disease can also help individuals already living with it reduce complications and promote disease progression (in a good way). These include:

  • Weight loss plays a vital role in helping reduce fat accumulation in the liver. If you’re overweight, you could be in danger of developing a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the fastest-growing forms of liver disease.
  • Eat a sensible, well-balanced diet. Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Hydration is also essential, so drink plenty of water.

Healthy foods

  • Exercising consistently helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduces fat accumulation in the liver.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke and other toxins can injure liver cells.
  • Alcoholic beverages can create many health problems and can damage liver cells and scar your liver Talking to your doctor about what amount of alcohol is right for you can help you drink responsibly.
  • Taking medications incorrectly can harm your liver. Make sure to follow directions on all medications. Never take more than prescribed or mix them with alcohol.

Dedicated to Liver Health

A happy liver for a better you

If you are at risk or have been diagnosed with liver disease, Arizona Liver Health has resources to help. To learn more about our FREE liver scans or our enrolling liver health research studies, call us today at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.hepmag.com/blog/10-proactive-steps-help-liver

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


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December 14, 2021 Clinical ResearchPCOS0

The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that encompasses excess fat accumulation, inflammation, and liver scarring, is on the rise. Multiple factors go into developing NAFLD, and it has been linked to several other conditions. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the conditions that share a link with fatty liver disease. If you have PCOS, you need to read this.

PCOS Signs and Symptoms

PCOS is a hormone disorder affecting 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.  Although the cause of PCOS is not known, health experts believe that PCOS may be due to different factors working together. These factors include insulin resistance, increased levels of hormones called androgens, and an irregular menstrual cycle. Common symptoms involve:

  • Menstrual disorders can include absent periods, periods that infrequently occur or too frequently, heavy periods, or unpredictable periods
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs
  • Severe acne or acne that occurs after adolescence and does not respond to usual treatments
  • Multiple tiny fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries

Shared Risk Factors and Androgens

PCOS causes symptoms that are also factors we know to increase the chances of NAFLD. NAFLD can progress into the NASH stage, a more severe form of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the stage of liver disease where chronic liver inflammation begins to damage and scar it-eventually affecting its functions.

NAFLD and NASH are both linked to obesity

Insulin resistance and obesity are both triggers for excess fat accumulation in the liver. In addition, prolonged exposure to high androgen levels may add to the problem. Androgens are typically referred to as male hormones and play a role in women’s health at lower levels. Growing research evidence shows, and without treatment, prolonged exposure to high androgen levels can lead to serious health consequences, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Higher risk of liver inflammation and scarring
  • Increased risk for liver cancer and liver failure without transplant

With so many potential factors working together, it’s no wonder that having PCOS doubles your chances of liver disease.

While fatty liver disease is serious, it’s possible to reverse and prevent it with diet and lifestyle changes. Eating a sensible, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly will help keep your liver healthy. Along with regular monitoring, healthier lifestyle changes help not only prevent liver disease but those already diagnosed with it.

There are no FDA-approved treatments for NASH; however, potential new options are under investigation in clinical research studies. To learn more about enrolling NASH studies here at Arizona Liver Health, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our website today!

Sources:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/menstrual-abnormalities/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos

https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos


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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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