The Role of the Nurse Practitioner in the Management of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Abstract

The incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased over the past few decades because of the obesity epidemic and is also strongly associated with diabetes Type 2. Patients often present asymptomatically until the liver disease becomes advanced. Alternatively, persons with NAFLD can present with various stages of inflammation, hepatosis, or fibrosis, which can eventually result in cirrhosis and lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. Lifestyle modifications are the most important aspects of cirrhosis prevention. These changes are crucial because cirrhosis is a known cause of long-term liver disease. Nurse practitioners play an important role in the early detection of NAFLD and prevention of its potentially life-threatening complications.

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