One of the difficulties in diagnosing NASH as the cause of severe scaring or cirrhosis is that as the scaring progresses to cirrhosis, the fat disappears. This results in a condition that is referred to as cryptogenic cirrhosis , cirrhosis in which there is no clear cause. (Specifically, in cryptogenic cirrhosis the two most common causes of cirrhosis - alcohol and viral hepatitis - are not involved.) Cryptogenic cirrhosis has puzzled physicians for many years as to its cause. However, it now appears that half of cryptogenic cirrhosis occurs in patients with obesity and/or diabetes and probably is due to NASH.
Maybe you've had this scenario described to you by a customer: About an hour after dinner she begins to notice an uncomfortable sensation in her abdomen. She says the pain is cramplike, builds in intensity and shoots back toward her right shoulder blade. Nausea follows. She takes an antacid but wonders whether she has symptoms of appendicitis, food poisoning or an ulcer. A visit to her doctor reveals that she is actually suffering from complications of cholelithiasis, also known as gallstones.
The liver also plays an important role in vitamin and mineral ( iron & copper ) storage. About 80% of the body's vitamin A stores are concentrated in fat droplets within the stellate cells of the liver. In pathological conditions like hepatic fibrosis or liver cirrhosis the stellate cells lose vitamin A, transform into fibroblasts or myofibroblasts and begin producing large amounts of collagen and adhesive glycoproteins. * Normal vitamin A reserves are enough to prevent a deficiency for about 10 months. The liver also contains about a year supply of B12. Vitamin D stores equal about 3-4 months. Small amounts of Vitamins E and K and Vitamin C are stored in the liver to facilitate liver functions.