Can Binge Eating Cause NASH? Understanding the Link Between Stress, Obesity, and Liver Health

Binge Eating and Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Wed , Jun 19

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Can Binge Eating Cause Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

  • Stress can lead to binge eating disorder, an excessive desire to overeat while dealing with intense emotions such as anger, sadness, and depression.

  • With over 115 million adults affected worldwide, NASH (Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis) poses a significant threat, especially to those with obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is characterized by the accumulation of excessive fat deposits in the liver, leading to inflammation and potential liver damage, even in individuals who do not consume alcohol.

  • Healthy liver contains some fat, but if it exceeds more than 5%, it is called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). If this condition is accompanied by inflammation and scarring, it is referred to as NASH.

  • As childhood obesity becomes more widespread, the prevalence of NAFLD in children is also on the rise.

  • It is crucial to adopt preventive measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, and consuming healthy food intake, to protect the liver from the development and progression of NASH.

Risk Factors for NASH

  • Genetics

  • Stress

  • Obesity

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • High levels of cholesterol

  • Thyroid Disorders

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Menopause

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Severe liver scarring or cirrhosis is the main complication of NAFLD and NASH. Cirrhosis occurs because of liver injury, such as the damage caused by inflammation in NASH.

Symptoms of NASH and Cirrhosis (Severe Scarring)

  • Itchy skin

  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Swelling of the legs

  • Spider-like blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface

  • Enlarged spleen

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

  • The progression of NASH to cirrhosis starts when inflamed liver tissue turns into scar tissue (fibrosis), which can prevent the liver from functioning properly.


  • Exercise: “To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.” Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active is one of the best steps you can take for yourself. Losing weight is one of the best treatments for NAFLD and NASH. Losing just 3% to 5% of your body weight can reduce fat in your liver; losing 7% to 10% can decrease inflammation and scar tissues as well.

  • Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, juices, and sweetened beverages.

  • Medications: Medications can be given to treat people who have NASH with moderate to severe liver scarring.

  • Liver Transplant: For cirrhosis due to NASH, a liver transplant would be the ultimate choice.

  • Sedentary lifestyle habits take a serious toll on our health. Terms like stress eating or binge eating play a significant role in obesity, which is directly linked to NAFLD and NASH. Let’s be more mindful of our health, be proactive, and consult your physician to keep it in control.

  • Institute of Liver diseases, Transplant and HPB Surgery at MGM Healthcare deals with and promotes overall liver health.

  • Our highly experienced team of hepatologists and transplant surgeons follows the latest protocols and uses advanced technology to manage and treat any disease or condition of the hepato-pancreatic-biliary conditions. Our goal is to greatly improve our patient’s quality of life.

  • Call us at 044 4524 2424 for a personalised consultation.

  • Reviewed by
    Dr Karthik Mathivanan
    Senior Consultant & Associate Director
    Institute of Liver Diseases, Transplant & HPB Surgery