On the occasion of the International NASH Day on June 12, let us take stock of this modern day disease that results directly from our overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods. What is soda? And above all, how to avoid it?
Formerly called fatty cirrhosis, NASH (acronym for "non alcoholic steatohepatitis" which means "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease") is nowadays commonly referred to as soda disease, in reference to our overconsumption of industrial beverages and junk food - the era of time obliges. Silent, NASH is an insymptomatic pathology that insidiously destroys the liver. Sadly (and briefly) celebrated when the sports columnist Pierre Menès has been affected, it can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, the only outcome of which is transplantation. Disease of modern times, a reflection of our overconsumption of ultra-processed foods, this intruder is still unknown to the general public. Let's take stock on this International Day of NASH.
The liver, this shadow worker
As the name suggests, NASH is not the result of excessive alcohol consumption, but a diet too fat and too sweet. It is more concerned with obese people (75% risk) or overweight (30%), but also addicts to sodas, junk food. Over time, a pile of fat slowly and silently forms around the liver, disturbing its proper functioning. This invasion can last 10, 20 or 30 years without the patient realizing it and the damage is irreversible.
According to the Paul Brousse Hepato-Biliary Center, one of the causes of NASH is also related to insulin resistance. NASH "is characterized by the fact that, in overweight patients, the body puts a large amount of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) in order to reduce the level of sugar in the blood.This can last several years, but at some point, the secretory capacity of the pancreas becomes depleted, the insulin level decreases in the blood and the blood sugar level increases, giving rise to type 2 diabetes. In addition, the hyperinsulinemia disturbs metabolism of intrahepatic fatty acids: these disorders result in steatosis ". The facility also lists the following risk factors: hypertriglyceridemia (greater than 1.7mmol / l), central adiposity (waist circumference greater than 88 for women and greater than 102cm for men) and a high low HDL-cholesterol (less than 0.5 g / l for women and less than 0.4 g / l for men).
Schematically, a liver destroyed at 80% continues to provide almost all of his work. But 81% sick, it is the whole body who suffered, or who dies. This organ is nevertheless among the most amazing of the human body since it is able to regenerate itself spontaneously, which explains why doctors can take the part of a liver without disturbing the liver function. In the donor, as in the recipient, it will become fully functional by closing. The liver is a real chemical factory that guarantees the functioning of all the other organs, which justifies the verdict of death when it no longer works.
One to two million French people potentially concerned
Difficult to quantify the number of people with NASH in France. Professor Dominique Lannes, author of the book "NASH: the junk food disease" speaks of one to two million people. "The figures are not very precise but it is estimated that about 30% of the French population has steatosis, that is to say the" foie gras ", he explained in 2017 to LCI. to say that all these people will arrive at the stage of NASH.To get a very precise idea of the number of affected individuals, it would be necessary to carry out a puncture of the liver to all the French and to examine it, so it is complicated. from France, it still represents 1 to 2 million people potentially affected by NASH ".
To cure NASH, no miracle recipe. When the liver is damaged, the transplant is the only option. Approximately 1300 liver transplants are performed each year in France. Few in the face of the modern NASH epidemic. Hepatitis B or C transplants are expected to decline significantly in the coming months due to very active treatments now, with steatosis affecting 30% of the population, 10% of whom have NASH. deceased liver donors do not necessarily have organs in good condition, which can be a problem for a transplant.If there is an increase in transplants, we will, certainly, towards problems of organ shortage ", worries Professor Dominique Lannes.
So to avoid maltreating his liver in this way, only one solution: rebalance his diet. Eat less fat, less sweet. Avoid sodas and other industrial drinks. Reduce the portions, prefer the vegetable fibers - the fruits during cravings. Practice regular physical activity. Basically: eat, move!