Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH): Care Instructions

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Digestive system

Your Care Instructions

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is liver inflammation. It is caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. The fat buildup is not caused by drinking alcohol. Because of the inflammation, the liver does not work as well as it should.

NASH is part of a group of liver diseases called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In these diseases, fat builds up in the liver and sometimes causes liver damage. This damage can get worse over time.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Stay at a healthy weight. Or if you need to, slowly get to a healthy weight.
  • Control your cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about ways to lower your cholesterol, if needed. You might try getting active, taking medicines, and making healthy changes to your diet.
  • Eat healthy foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats and dairy, and whole grains.
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar at your target level.
  • Get at least 2½ hours of exercise a week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Limit alcohol, or do not drink. Alcohol can damage the liver and cause health problems.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You feel very sleepy or confused.
  • You have new or worse belly pain.
  • You have a fever.
  • There is a new or increasing yellow tint to your skin or the whites of your eyes.
  • You have any abnormal bleeding, such as:
    • Nosebleeds.
    • Vaginal bleeding that is different (heavier, more frequent, at a different time of the month) than what you are used to.
    • Bloody or black stools, or rectal bleeding.
    • Bloody or pink urine.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your belly is getting bigger.
  • You are gaining weight.
  • You have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: May 12, 2017