In France, 8.5 million people are affected by “fatty liver disease” and 90% of them have not been diagnosed. People with diabetes would be all the more affected, and subject to more severe forms of this disease.
“I felt like trash”. Yvette Boesch is diabetic. His doctor diagnosed him with NASH in 2002 and the first serious symptoms appeared 16 years later. Flow of liquid in the abdomen (ascites), disorientation, loss of control of the sphincters, inability to express herself… she is forced to stop working. NASH, for “non-alcoholic steatohepatitis”, is a chronic liver disease that develops very slowly. In some cases, it can degenerate into cirrhosis (a chronic inflammation that leads to the destruction of liver cells), even if people do not drink alcohol. For Ms. Boesch, the symptoms completely disappeared thanks to a liver transplant in 2020.
Unknown to the general public as well as general practitioners, NASH is the subject of an annual conference in Paris. “We must raise awareness so that people at risk are systematically screened. warns Professor Lawrence Serfaty, Head of the Hepatology Department at Hautepierre Hospital in Strasbourg and President of the 7th Paris NASH Meeting. But what are the risk factors for “fatty liver” disease? Over 50, overweight, cholesterol, diabetes… Their association increases the risk of developing this stehatohepatitis to more than 90%.
1 out of 2 diabetics have NASH
Today, about 4 million French people are diabetic and 50% of them are said to be suffering from “fatty liver” disease. For type 2 diabetics, this proportion rises to 8/10. Many, however, go undiagnosed. “The liver is not in the radar of diabetologists. Yet they look at the consequences on many other organs such as the eyes or the kidneys“, explains Professor Laurent Castera, from the hepatology department of Beaujon Hospital. The challenge therefore lies first and foremost in raising awareness and screening.
How’s it going ? Several examinations are possible: blood test, ultrasound or FibroScan (measurement of hepatic elasticity[…]