What you need to know about NASH

  • NASH
  • Advanced
    fatty liver
  • Fatty liver

You may have heard these discussed as though they’re the same thing...but they’re not.

NASH—non-alcoholic steatohepatitis [stee-AH-toe-hep-uh-TIE-tus]—is a type of non‑alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). “Non‑alcoholic” means NASH isn’t caused by alcohol consumption. It’s caused by things that may be out of your control, like genetics, and things that you might be able to change, like your diet and lifestyle.

Let’s talk about the liver

To understand NASH, it helps to understand the liver. Your liver is located just under your ribcage and is about the size of a football. In fact, your liver is your body’s largest internal organ—and one of the most important: You can’t live without your liver. When healthy, your liver performs hundreds of functions, including:

  • filtering toxins out of your blood
  • producing hormones and proteins
  • aiding in digestion

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What makes NASH so serious?

Having some fat in your liver is generally harmless (though it’s not normal). But NASH isn’t just fat in your liver; it’s fat in your liver plus liver inflammation plus liver cell damage, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring of the liver). When scar tissue from fibrosis builds up, your liver may have a hard time doing its job.

  • NASH
    • Buildup of fat
      in the liver
    • Liver inflammation
    • Liver cell injury
    • Risk of fibrosis
      (scarring of the liver)
  • Fatty liver
    • Buildup of fat
      in the liver

Actually...it’s the fibrosis

NASH is considered more or less severe based on how far fibrosis has progressed.