Synergy Healthcare

NASH: How It’s All Connected

Our bodies are a framework of interconnected systems working together. Often when an ailment attacks one part of our body, we have a higher risk of developing issues in other parts. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a liver disease common in individuals with hypertension and diabetes. How it’s all connected is the driving force behind a growing public health concern of epidemic proportions.

What is NASH?

NASH is an aggressive form of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver, causing chronic inflammation. NASH can lead to cirrhosis, failure of the liver, and liver cancer.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension results from the force of blood being too high against the walls of the arteries. Uncontrolled hypertension can cause damage to the arteries and blood vessels, making it hard to get enough blood and other vital nutrients to the entire body.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is when the body can’t make enough insulin or resists its effects. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that enables the sugars from what we consume to be used for energy. If the pancreas can’t make insulin or the body cannot use it properly, high sugar levels build up in the bloodstream. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause blood vessel and nerve damage which have a devastating widespread effect on the body.

Tying it All Together

Metabolic syndrome

Hypertension and diabetes are two groups in the five that comprise a health condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. It is diagnosed when someone has three or more of these risk factors:

  • High blood sugar
  • Low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood
  • High triglycerides blood levels
  • A large amount of fat in the abdominal area or “apple-shaped” body
  • High blood pressure

NASH and other forms of liver disease tend to be highly prevalent among people who also have diabetes. Around two-thirds of individuals with diabetes also have NAFLD, while one-third have NASH. The connection between diabetes, hypertension, and NASH is bidirectional. This means that:

  • People with heart disease or type 2 diabetes are more likely to have NASH.
  • On the other hand, people with NASH are more likely to have heart disease or type 2 diabetes. In fact, heart disease is the top cause of death in people who have NASH.
NASH: The silent liver disease

NASH is a Significant Public Health Concern

Understanding the relationship between these diseases has become imperative. With metabolic diseases increasing every year, so too does NASH. It is a significant public health concern for our generation. Liver diseases like NAFLD often have no noticeable symptoms and progress over several years without notice, making them a silent killer. Recent focuses in research are helping the medical community better understand NASH and its connections with other conditions. Now, the first generation of potential new NASH-specific treatments are on the horizon and being evaluated in clinical research studies.

Has your liver been acting up?

Do you or a loved one have NASH and are interested in helping us understand this disease and improve care options for it? Our enrolling NASH studies here at Synergy Healthcare may help. Compensation for time and travel is available for those who qualify. Visit our website or call us at (941) 896-4948 to apply today!


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