There are various conditions that can affect the liver, including one known as MASH. So, what is MASH? Metabolic-Associated Steaohepatitis (MASH), formerly known as Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), is a form of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) that occurs when the accumulation of fat in the liver causes inflammation and liver damage.
When fat accumulation in the liver is left untreated over time, it can lead to MASH. This liver condition is closely associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have also discovered that some genes can facilitate the early development of MASH.
Unfortunately, MASH is asymptomatic in the early stages, making it difficult to diagnose. However, there are some key signs and symptoms to look out for that can indicate the presence of MASH.
This article will provide information on the key signs of MASH and the importance of an early diagnosis.
Key Signs of Metabolic-Associated Steatohepatitis (MASH)
It is usually easy to detect MASH when the condition of the liver has worsened. While it might be hard to find early symptoms of MASH, we have highlighted some things for you to look out for. Here are some key signs of MASH.
One major sign of MASH is severe fatigue. However, this type of fatigue is not eased away by rest. When you have repeated scenarios of intense fatigue that does not dissipate with time, look out for other symptoms of MASH.
Yellowing of the skin and eyes, also known as jaundice, is another sign of MASH. This happens when the liver is unable to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is produced when red blood cells break down.
Abdominal Pain and Discomfort
Abdominal pain and discomfort are common signs of MASH. You may feel pain or discomfort in the upper right part of your abdomen. This may be accompanied by a feeling of fullness, bloating, or nausea.
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Insulin resistance and diabetes are closely associated with MASH. This is where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, which is a hormone needed for the regulation of blood sugar levels. As a result, it can result in blood sugar levels rising, which then increases the risk of developing diabetes.
High Blood pressure and Cholesterol Levels
High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also associated with MASH. These conditions are often seen in people with metabolic syndrome, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Why you should Watch out for Key Signs of MASH
Ignoring the early signs of MASH can have severe consequences. One of the most significant risks is the development of cirrhosis, which is irreversible and can lead to liver failure – a life-threatening condition.
Another potential risk of ignoring the early signs of this liver condition is the development of liver cancer, a very aggressive disease that can be difficult to treat. It is crucial to take note of any symptoms, no matter how mild, and seek medical attention immediately.
Early detection and treatment can prevent the progression of MASH and improve the overall prognosis for people with this condition.
Prevention and Treatment of MASH
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing MASH:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a major risk factor for MASH. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing this condition.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to reduce liver fat and improve liver function in people with MASH.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. Try to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as this can reduce the risks when it comes to developing MASH.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can damage the liver and increase the risk of developing MASH.
If you have been diagnosed with MASH, there are several treatment options available:
- Lifestyle changes. Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet can improve liver function and reduce the progression of MASH.
- Medications. There are several medications available that can help reduce liver inflammation and damage in people with MASH. These include insulin sensitizers, lipid-lowering drugs, and antioxidants.
- Bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, can be an effective treatment option for people with MASH who are obese. This surgery can help improve liver function and reduce liver fat.
- Liver transplantation. A liver transplant may be necessary in severe cases of MASH where the liver has been severely damaged.
Take Care of Your Liver
MASH is a condition that can be difficult to detect in its early stages. However, there are several signs that may indicate its presence, including fatigue, abdominal pain, an enlarged liver, elevated liver enzymes, jaundice, and fluid retention.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must speak with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause. Whether you have MASH or not, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle – exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, limit your alcohol intake, and eat a healthy diet.