NASH – the disease you’ve probably never heard of

One in four Americans have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease


shadow

June 12 is International NASH Day. NASH stands for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a liver disease.

NASH is the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. NAFLD affects an estimated 1 out of 4 adults in the U.S. Despite how common it is, not many people know about it.

Lorenzo shares his story.

Lorenzo’s story

Veteran Lorenzo is sharing his story in this video to help others learn about NAFLD.

Lorenzo has already lost over 50 pounds. Losing weight is an important part of treating NAFLD. It is important to address NAFLD before it leads to NASH and does further damage to a person’s liver.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is when fat stores increase in the liver of somebody who rarely drinks. The fat deposits can cause liver damage. Some people can go on to develop severe liver scarring, called cirrhosis.

NAFLD most often occurs in people with high blood sugar, obesity or high cholesterol. Most people feel fine and have no symptoms, but heart disease, stroke and diabetes are more common in people with fatty liver.

Veterans with questions about NAFLD can talk to a VA provider and ask about VA resources for losing weight. Learn more about NAFLD at https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/nafl/patient/index.asp.


Elizabeth Maguire, MSW, is the Communications Lead for the HIV, Hepatitis, and Related Conditions Program Office.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. TERENCE J CALDWELL    

    NASH can also be caused by a virus such as CMV (cytomegalovirus) or EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) but your provider needs to screen for these infections – NOT just the typical hepatitis A, B, C panel. On active duty, I was hospitalized for over a week with severe hepatitis and then placed on 30 days convalescent leave. Twice I have applied for VA disability recognition of my past condition (despite hospital discharge summary, abnormal liver labs, etc) which they have denied…and yes I did use a service officer (DAV) in my case. Just don’t let them tell you it’s just NASH, ask to see a gastroenterologist and further work-up, especially if your labs continue to be elevated. I’ve had some mildly abnormal liver function tests now since the 1970s!
    Good luck and I thank all veterans for their service – you have done a lot more to preserve our freedoms and independence than 98% of Americans!

  2. Daniel Batitsas    

    Let’s make sure all the VA offices and VA health facilities have an option to press a number, like #7, when you hear the recording about if you feel like harming yourself. A Vet who needs someone to talk to NOW, and is a real threat to him/herselves, may take this copy down an 800 number as the last straw. A person who is seriously thinking about harming themselves, is unlikely to have a pen and paper handy. Pressing an option# is a lot easier than copying down an 800 number. If we save one life, it’s worth the investment. I brought this up at a meeting with Vets in Madison, Wi., and within 2 weeks it was in place. No one contacted me, and that’s fine. I don’t need recognition but it would be a kick to save a few vets, they deserve it.

Comments are closed.