Skip to main content

Home  About Us  For Physicians  For Patients  For Students  Medical Society  Accountable Care Org.  Contact Us  Internship  Spectrum for Living  Sovereign Medical Group  Comprehensive PrimaryCare  Medicare SGR Fix  Chronic Care Management   
Affordable Care Act
Arbitration is Here to Stay
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Health Care Reform
Meaningful Use
Out of Network Payments
Regional Extension Center
Reputation Management
Urgent Matters
MD Health Insurance
Annual Wellness Visit
  NAFLD/NASH and the Metabolic Syndrome


The Need for a Proactive Approach

The medical community has begun to recognize the serious implications of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a form of chronic liver disease. However, standards of care for this disease have not yet been established. Even so, the knowledgeable physician can take a proactive stance with a patient who may be at risk - screening for indicators of NAFLD, arriving at a diagnosis, and effectively managing comorbid condition. With timely and individualized care, the physical could help to improve the patient's overall health, and perhaps have an impact on liver-related morbidity and mortality.

FAFLD: A Definition

According to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA): "(NAFLD) represents a spectrum of conditions characterized histologically by mainly macrovestcular hepatic steatosis." FAFLD involves significant lipid deposition in the liver parenchyma. As its name suggests, this disorder affects individuals who do not consume sufficient alcohol to harm the liver. However, histological findings are similar to those of alcoholic liver disease; similarly, NAFLD may be the liver's response to overwhelming metabolic imbalances. An advanced from of NAFLD puts patients at risk of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver failure. In recent studies, NAFLD has been implicated as the cause of cryptogenic cirrhosis.

Reasons for Concern

Although it has largely been overlooked as a clinical entity in the past, NAFLD is now on the increase in the United States. Its true incidence and prevalence are unknown. Evidence of NAFLD may be found in up to 80% of cases with elevated liver enzyme levels; in fact, 1 in every 4 or 5 adults may be afflicted, yet patients with this complex disease may go undetected.

For the complete article, open the PDF version below.

PDF Version