BOSTON — In this exclusive video from The Liver Meeting 2019, Rosemary Wickowski, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Fatty Liver Foundation, addresses the liver disease community regarding the optimistic future for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
“My first message to the AASLD community is that, when we became involved in NAFLD and NASH just a few years ago, it was like a barren landscape,” Wickowski told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, noting that there was little to no information for patients, and information was often conflicting. “Today, to see all the activity, the focus, the research that is going into NAFLD and NASH, is just incredible and it gives patients so much hope. There is so much that is available and is improving each day that it is really gratifying.”
While making lifestyle and dietary changes is difficult, Wickowski continued, she said that when patients receive direct, specific messages that if they don’t make these changes and achieve weight loss, they are potentially heading for some difficult outcomes including end-stage liver disease or the need for transplant.
“Knowing that [these outcomes are] a possibility is part of what sparks the motivation to make changes today, to make lifestyle changes that can hopefully at least stop the progression of their disease,” she said. “The other key message of hope is that there are medical treatments on the horizon. Certainly, those are going to be critically important in getting in front of and on top of this disease, and so we’re anxious for that day to be arriving.”
Disclosure: Wickowski reports no relevant financial disclosures.