Dr. Rashid Khan is an gastroenterologist and liver expert practicing in Houston/Baytown , TX. Dr. Khan specializes in the medical treatment of adults. He sees patients with various digestive disorders, reflux, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea as well as common liver issues, fatty liver, viral hepatitis, etc.
Five reasons to evaluate Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) involves fat accumulation in the liver of non drinkers. This is a common condition, afflicting close to 100 million Americans. Here, I highlight five reasons why NAFLD needs to be taken seriously.
- The most relevant reason from a liver doctor’s perspective is the potential transformation of fatty liver disease to liver cirrhosis. Fatty liver is generally benign, but the development of cirrhosis becomes a game changer.
- Along with the potential risk of cirrhosis, comes the added risk of developing liver cancer. Studies have shown that this risk is even present in the absence of cirrhosis, though small.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most common medical conditions in the US and globally. NAFLD and CVD go hand-in-hand. Usually both exist in many patients. Fatty liver is known to be an independent predictor of CVD.
- Type II diabetes is another very common medical condition. Numerous studies have shown the propensity of diabetic patients to develop fatty liver. This association is bi-directional, meaning some patients with fatty liver will go on to develop diabetes.
- Finally, I will mention chronic kidney disease (CKD), another disease afflicting millions of Americans in this day and age. While the association of NAFLD and CKD may not be as robust as with CVD and diabetes, nevertheless it all comes back to the metabolic syndrome entity, which involves dangerous plaque build up in the blood vessels throughout the body.
Here at Houston Methodist San Jacinto, it is our sincere hope that fatty liver disease is recognized and evaluated in its earliest stages. Our practice is specifically geared towards the management of these patients, as well as other liver diseases and we will be more than happy to see you in our offices.