Dr. Sandeep Jassal is the nominated Vice President of the Liver Forever Foundation, a charity organization working toward liver health in India.
Fatty liver disease is becoming a common liver problem with about 25% of people suffering from it.
It is strongly linked to obesity, insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes and other disorders. If fatty liver isn’t addressed in time, it may lead to more serious liver disease and other health problems.
Fatty liver occurs when excess fat accumulates in liver cells. Although normally to have a tiny amount of fat in these cells, the liver is considered fatty if more than 5% of it is fat.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may also lead to fatty liver, especially if you consume more than 20 ml per day on an average.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the beginning is the reversible stage of fatty infiltration of the liver. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Over time, NAFL may lead to a more serious liver condition known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis also called NASH.
NASH depicts greater fat accumulation and inflammation which indicates damage to the liver cells. This can lead to scarring of the liver tissue or fibrosis, as liver cells are repeatedly injured and die off.
Fatty liver may cause sometimes in some people subtle symptoms but is often detected by blood tests or ultrasound abdomen being done for other reasons. NASH usually involves more pronounced symptoms, such as abdominal heaviness, pain, upper abdominal tenderness and feeling unwell.
Best Cure For Fatty Liver Disease, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Diet Tips for Getting Rid of Fatty Liver
There are several steps you can take to get rid of fatty liver, including losing weight and cutting back on carbs. And there are certain foods which can help you lose liver fat.
Lose Weight and Avoid Overeating If Overweight or Obese
Weight loss is one of the best ways to cure and reverse fatty liver if you are overweight or obese.
As a matter of fact, weight loss has been shown to promote loss of liver fat in adults with NAFLD, regardless of whether the weight loss was achieved by making dietary changes alone or in combination with exercise or with a holistic lifestyle plan for fatty liver that LiveLifeMore also provides with a natural health physician Dr. Sandeep Jassal & Dietitian Pallavi Jassal offer as a team.
What’s even more encouraging is the fact that the improvements in liver fat and insulin sensitivity may persist even if some of the weight is regained.
Causes of Fatty Liver
There are several causes that may contribute to or cause developing fatty liver:
Being overweight or Obese: Being Overweight or being obese results in low-grade inflammation that which may promote liver fat storage. According to estimates, 30–90% of obese adults have NAFLD, and it’s increasing in children due to the spreading epidemic of the childhood obesity epidemic.
Excess belly fat: Carrying extra fat around the belly, also called abdominal fat even in people with normal-weight may develop fatty liver if they are “viscerally obese,” meaning they carry extra fat around their waist.
Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance and high insulin levels in the blood have been shown to increase liver fat storage in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
High refined carbs intake: Frequent and excessive intake of refined carbs promotes liver fat storage, especially when high amounts are consumed by overweight or insulin-resistant.
Frequent sugary beverage consumption: Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and energy drinks are high in fructose, which has been shown to drive liver fat as well as visceral fat accumulation in children and adults.
Impaired intestinal health: Recent studies suggest that having an imbalance in intestinal or gut bacteria, may cause problems with gut barrier function (“leaky gut”) or other gut health issues that may contribute to fatty liver development.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver
Though fatty liver often goes unnoticed initially, there are several signs and symptoms of fatty liver, although not all of these may be present.
- Weakness & Fatigue
- Slight fullness or pain in the right side or center of the abdominal area
- Elevated liver enzymes, including AST ( SGOT) and ALT (SGPT)
- Elevated blood insulin levels
- Elevated serum triglyceride levels
If fatty liver progresses to NASH, the following symptoms may be present:
- Abdominal pain (moderate to severe)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin
It’s advisable to see your doctor regularly for blood tests and standard exams that can diagnose fatty liver at the early, reversible stage.