Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis is thought of as a “silent disease”, meaning they have few or no symptoms. Even if nonalcoholic steatohepatitis causes you to develop cirrhosis, you still may not have any symptoms. Possible symptoms include tiredness and pain in the upper-right side of your abdomen (stomach). Once cirrhosis is advanced, you can develop symptoms such as:
Swelling in the belly or swelling in the legs.
Risk factors for NASH: Being overweight or having obesity, which is having extra body fat over healthy levels or a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Several studies have found that hypertension is associated with an increased risk of developing NASH. For example, a study published in the Journal of Hepatology in 2018 found that people with hypertension had a 57% higher risk of developing NASH compared to people without hypertension. Another study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2020 found that hypertension was associated with a higher prevalence of NASH and advanced liver fibrosis in people with obesity.
It is believed that hypertension may contribute to the development of NASH through several mechanisms. For example, hypertension can lead to oxidative stress, which can contribute to liver cell damage and inflammation. Hypertension can also contribute to the accumulation of fat in the liver by increasing insulin resistance and altering lipid metabolism.
Managing Hypertension to Reduce the Risk of NASH:
Managing hypertension is important for reducing the risk of developing NASH. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension-related complications. Medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and diuretics can also be used to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing NASH.
In addition, some studies have suggested that certain medications used to treat hypertension, such as mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, may have potential benefits in the treatment of NASH. These medications can help to reduce liver inflammation and fibrosis, which are key features of NASH.
Hypertension is a significant risk factor for NASH, a form of liver disease characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, inflammation, and liver cell damage. People with hypertension should work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their blood pressure and reduce their risk of developing NASH. This may involve lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management, as well as medications to help lower blood pressure. In addition, certain medications used to treat hypertension may have potential benefits in the treatment of NASH. By taking these steps, people with hypertension can reduce their risk of liver disease and improve their overall health.