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In the U.S., it’s estimated that fatty liver disease affects 20 to 40 percent of the population. The scary and surprising fact is that this type of liver disease often doesn’t cause any obvious fatty liver disease symptoms. Many people don’t even realize their livers are fatty until they have testing (such as a CT scan or ultrasound) for another health concern or they experience an obvious alert such as pain in the abdomen.
There are two main types of this disease, non-alcoholic and alcoholic. A decrease in appetite, a feeling of fullness in the middle or upper right side of the abdomen, nausea, and weight loss are some of the telltale signs of fat in the body. Some of the possible symptoms of the fatiguing liver are listed below.
Is a fatty liver dangerous? It can be! The more severe type of NAFLD is NASH, which stands for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. NASH causes the liver to swell and become damaged. According to the American Liver Foundation, NASH is one of the top causes of cirrhosis in adults in the United States and up to 25 percent of adults with NASH may already have cirrhosis. NAFLD is also linked to an increased risk of liver cancer.
The good news is that the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, so before you jump to the conclusion that a fatty liver may be a likely part of your future or a diagnosis you can’t do anything about, the good news is that the organ is highly regenerative.
It is not that surprising that with the right diet and home remedies, you may be able to improve the state of your liver.
What Is Fatty Liver Disease?
The human body has a large organ called the liver. The vital organ stores energy, helps to digest food, and removes toxins and poisons.
What is the cause of the fatiguing liver disease? There is a build up of fat in the liver that can lead to a disease called tyrannosaurus rex disease. It is normal for the liver to hold a small amount of fat, but when it reaches 15 percent of the total weight, a person is said to have a condition called fat storage disease.
A grade 1 or grade 2 is the most severe of the three levels of the fatiguing liver. There are more symptoms caused by a grade 2 of the bile duct than there are by a grade 1 of the bile duct. The higher the grade, the more likely it is for the fat in the liver to cause health problems. There are different types of sclerosing choriosclerosis.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease vs. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
There are two main forms of fat in the body: fat in the bile duct and fat in the scuplture.
The build up of fat and damage to theLiver is similar to what happens in a case of alcoholic FattyLiver Disease, which is directly linked to consuming large quantities of alcohol. A large amount of alcohol is typically said to be more than one drink per day for women and more than two drinks per day for men.
Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms
Now that you know about the disease, it is time to take a look at some of the ways you can identify it. It is possible to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and not have any symptoms at all. This is quite common. There are a number of possibilities when symptoms occur.
Alcohol or other causes can lead to the signs of a fatiguing liver.
- Loss of appetite
- There is abdominal pain in the upper right abdomen.
- There is swelling in the upper abdomen.
- Blood vessels that are spider-like.
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- There is a build up of fluid and swelling in the legs and abdomen.
- Mental confusion
Fatty Liver Disease Causes
There is a question about what causes a fatiguing liver. There is an excessive amount of fat in the person. Consuming large amounts of alcohol is the main cause of fat build up in a diagnosis of alcoholism.
There are suspicions of causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Insulin resistance
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), indicating prediabetes or actual type 2 diabetes
- The blood has high levels of fats and triglycerides.
Obesity is the most prevalent cause of excess fat within the liver.
According to American College of Gastroenterology,
One in ten children and one in three adults in the United States may be affected by NAFLD, a very common disorder. It is thought that obese people are more likely to have fat in the liver. According to some experts, about two thirds of obese adults and half of obese children may have a problem with the bile duct.
What are the risk factors for fatty liver disease? Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) is more common in people who exhibit any of these health problems or features:
- Type 2 diabetes
- There is a metabolic syndrome or another metabolic disorder.
- Rapid weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Middle aged or older people are more likely to have NAFLD, but younger people can also have it.
- There are certain infections, like the hepatitis C.
- Take some drugs that are used for cancer and corticosteroids.
- Some toxins can be exposure to.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Some genetic metabolic conditions or prescription medications, including amiodarone (Cordarone®), diltiazem (Cardizem®), steroids, and tamoxifen (Nolvadex®) also may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If you are taking one of these medications and are diagnosed with fatty liver, your doctor might substitute another drug.”
Is there a problem with the bile ducts? It can be life threatening if it is left untreated. Let’s look at the health consequences of having too much fat in the bile duct.
Your doctor will likely perform a number of tests to determine the true state of your body’s organs. There is a possibility that a liver biopsy is necessary.
Common conventional treatment recommendations for fatty liver disease involve eliminating or controlling the cause(s). For example, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, conventional fatty liver treatment may includes a doctor’s recommendation to lose weight, which helps to decrease fat in the liver as well as inflammation and fibrosis.
Rapid weight loss can only make things worse, so it’s not a good idea. Losing weight gradually is a smart way to lose weight. Doctors may suggest losing 7 percent of body weight over a year.
Other recommendations may include that.
- Do not take any drugs that may be causing the fat in the body.
- Diabetes can be better controlled.
- The levels of triglyceride are lower.
- Do not consume alcohol.
There are currently no approved medications that treat NASH. When alcohol is not the cause, some doctors give their patients vitamins E and thiazolidinediones, which are used for diabetes. These drugs can cause adverse effects and some say they don’t make enough of a difference long-term.
Conventional treatment when NASH leads to cirrhosis usually includes certain medications and procedures. A liver transplant can be required when cirrhosis leads to failure of the liver.
Fatty Liver Diet and Supplementation
Are you wondering how I can reduce my cholesterol? A healthy diet with lots of whole foods is one of the main natural strategies. There are a number of supplements that can be helpful.
1. Foods to Boost Liver Function
What foods to eat if you have a fatty liver? In general, you will want to incorporate more plant-based diet foods and choose helpful fatty liver foods including vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.
The following helpful foods are known to decrease inflammation while also aiding the body in its use of insulin, which is often a problem for people with a fatty liver:
- Foods with high levels of monounsaturated fats are olives, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
- Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids including wild-caught fish like salmon and sardines, chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.
- High antioxidant foods that can help to protect the liver cells from damage, especially items rich in vitamin E, which some research shows can improve the state of a fatty liver. Some healthy foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds and almonds.
- artichokes, mustard greens, arugul, and dandelion are some of the vegetables that boost the bile in the body.
- Green tea, which is rich in catechins, has been shown to help decrease body fat and discourage obesity.
2. A Mediterranean and Ketogenic Diet
You may want to consider following a Mediterranean diet, which some some studies have suggested can decrease fat in the liver. This diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beneficial fat sources like extra virgin olive oil, and healthy proteins like sardines and other omega-3 fatty acid rich fish.
You can take it one step further and follow a Mediterranean ketogenic diet. A pilot study published in 2011 in the Journal of Medicinal Food finds that this type of combined diet plan which focuses on whole foods (especially healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables) can help people overcome metabolic syndrome, which is closely associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
This study shows that the potential therapeutic properties of a Mediterranean ketogenic diet can improve the health of people with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD.
3. What Foods to Avoid
There are some things that you will definitely want to avoid if you want to follow a diet that can help improve the state of your liver. If you have alcoholic fatty liver disease, excess alcohol is not a good idea.
There are a number of foods and other items that have a negative impact on the body.
- Too much of alcohol or caffeine.
- There are packaged goods that contain refined vegetable oils and artificial ingredients.
- Fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides.
- Factory-farm animal products, farm-raised fish, and conventional dairy have been Pasteurized.
- Refined sugar as well as too much fructose
- Refined grains
- Uncooked shellfish
- Certain medications (especially acetaminophen)
- Eating wild mushrooms can be dangerous.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals especially endocrine-disrupting chemicals
You can check the LiverTox database provided by the National Institutes of Health to see if any medication, herb or supplement may be linked to liver injury so that you can avoid them as well.
3. Supplements that Boost Liver Health
According to a scientific review published in 2015, there are some supplements that have specifically been shown to help in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease including:
- Vitamin E and vitamin C: Since oxidative stress can play a significant role in the development of pathogenesis of NAFLD, antioxidant agents like vitamin E and vitamin C could be beneficial in the treatment of a fatty liver. However, so far study results are unclear. For example, Vitamin E may only be helpful for adults with NASH who do not also have diabetes or cirrhosis.
- Vitamin D: Research has shown that a vitamin D deficiency can result in insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and NAFLD.
- Resveratrol: Found in red wine as well as foods like red grapes, raw cocoa (dark chocolate), berries and also available in supplement form, resveratrol appears to decrease the severity of NAFLD in animal models.
- Anthocyanin: Animal research points towards anthocyanin‘s ability to decrease fat accumulation in the liver and counteract liver inflammation.
- Green tea extract: Both in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate that green tea and EGCG (a type of catechin) may prevent steatosis by decreasing dietary absorption of fats and carbohydrates.
- Garlic: Garlic-derived S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC) appears beneficial to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease thanks to its ability to regulate fat storage and glucose metabolism.
- Ginger: May help to prevent NAFLD or slow down its progression to more severe liver diseases.
- Probiotics and prebiotics: As the review points out, “The gut-liver axis is an important pathway in NAFLD development, which is associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and increased intestinal permeability.” So in other words, SIBO and a leaky gut appear to be contributing factors to NAFLD, which is why prebiotics and probiotics can be so beneficial. You can incorporate more prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet as well as high quality probiotic supplements.
- Cinnamon: May improve insulin resistance and oxidative stress.
- Curcumin: The active component of turmeric, curcumin, may reduce fat deposits in the liver. It may also prevent fatty liver progression with its “potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”
- Quercetin: Available as a supplement and also found in foods like apples and onions, quercetin may help to reduce inflammation and may be particularly helpful for people with a fatty liver as well as obesity and/or diabetes.
This review points out that both epidemiological and animal studies have shown that drinking coffee on a regular basis can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is a known cause/risk factor for fatty liver disease.
4. Detox Your Liver
Check with your doctor first, especially if you have diabetes or struggle with blood sugar issues, but you may want to consider a 6-Step Liver Cleanse.
Risks and Complications
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent cause of liver disease in the Western world. Having fatty liver disease means that you have fat deposits within your liver and these undesirable deposits can prevent the liver from doing its important job (and what’s so crucial to optimal health) — to remove toxins from your blood. This puts someone with this liver disease at serious risk for toxic buildup and all kinds of unpleasant symptoms of a poorly functioning liver including jaundice, edema, chronic fatigue, nausea and more.
When non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progresses and becomes severe, it is then non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), between 7 and 30 percent of people with NAFLD will develop NASH and at least one-third of people with NASH eventually develop cirrhosis.
The late-stage scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis is the main complication of NAFLD and NASH. When cirrhosis occurs, liver cells are progressively replaced by scar tissue and liver function deteriorates more and more.
According to Mayo Clinic, approximately 20 percent of people with NASH will progress to cirrhosis, which can lead to:
- There isAbdominal fluid build up.
- Swelling of veins in your body can cause problems.
- Dehydration, confusion, and slurred speech.
- Liver cancer
- End-stage liver failure (the liver has stopped functioning)
- There is a need for a transplant.
People with NAFLD, NASH and cirrhosis are believed to be at an increased risk of developing cancer.
- What is the name of a body part? There is a fat storage of five to 15 percent of the total weight of the liver. This means that you have a diagnosis of the disease.
- There are no obvious symptoms if you have a fat liver, but it can cause one or more common symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness and itching.
- People who drink little to no alcohol can be affected by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, while people who drink a lot of alcohol can be affected by alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Being overweight or obese, high blood sugar, and high levels of fats in the blood are some of the reasons why people who don’t consume alcohol are at higher risk of having a heart problem.
- A diet rich in whole foods like artichokes and bitter leafy greens, fish rich in Omega 3s and olive oil, and high vitamins like vitamins E and K should be included in a healthy diet for the fat in your body.
- It’s possible that supplements like vitamins C and D can improve the health of the fatiguing liver.
- Regular exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight and decrease the amount of fat in your body.
- If you have been diagnosed with the disease, talk to your healthcare provider about changing your diet or taking new supplements.