After fatty liver disease, NASH presents the next level of risk. In this, not only is the liver inflamed but cell damage also progresses. After this, some cases witness cirrhosis of liver and sometimes liver cancer.
Experts say nearly 30% of ultrasound sonography abdominal scans in the city show fatty livers and 20% of fatty livers have NASH. About 40-45% of patients — a majority of whom are between 20-40 years — visiting city gastroenterologists are already being diagnosed with fatty liver disease. Fatty liver will be one of the top health threats among youngsters in coming years. Specialists say they are now seeing 15-20 NASH patients each month on an average.
“We are seeing an increase in cases due to increasing obesity and diabetes mellitus. In case of NASH patients, apart from swollen liver, abnormal liver enzymes indicative of further liver damage are also present. Fatty liver requires lifestyle modifications, NASH requires medication along with lifestyle modifications,” said Dr Surendar Reddy Baradhi, gastroenterologist, MaxCure Hospitals. Most people with non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) have few or no symptoms. Patients may experience fatigue, malaise and dull right-upper-quadrant abdominal discomfort.
“Mild jaundice might be present in some cases, although rare. NAFLD is diagnosed following abnormal liver function tests during routine blood tests,” said Dr Vijaykumar C Bada, consultant surgical gastroenterology, KIMS Hospitals, adding genetics too may have a role to play.