Did you know? Your liver is the second largest and most essential organ in the body. It performs various life-supporting functions such as converting nutrients into energy, making protein for the body, producing bile that helps in digestion, removing bad bacteria and toxins, etc. But what if your liver is not able to perform all of its regular functions well. Numerous reasons affect liver health and fatty liver is one of them. A fatty liver disease which is also known as hepatic steatosis is caused when extra fat builds up in the liver. A healthy liver usually contains a small amount of fat in it and when the fat increases up to 6% to 10% of its liver weight, it starts becoming a problem.
Many of you don’t face any signs or have no symptoms of fatty liver as your liver does not show any serious problem because of starting stage. However, if you don’t take care of your liver, it can lead to liver damage. And if you’re suffering from the fatty liver then, the good news is you can prevent or even cure fatty liver disease with little lifestyle changes.
What are the types of Fatty liver disease?
There are main two types of fatty liver disease i.e. non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD).
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):
This type of fatty liver disease is usually caused when you consume too many calories. After that, your body produces an excess amount of fat from that calorie which does not metabolize efficiently and starts to build up in the liver. If you are an obese or overweight person then there are more chances of getting non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And a high level of fat build-up in the liver causes serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. However, if you’re already suffering from any of these health issues, NAFLD increases your chance of developing serious heart problems. If you detected NAFLD in the early stage, it is possible to manage or even reverse NAFLD from getting worse and reduce the chances of liver failure or liver cancer.
Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD):
This type of fatty liver disease is also called alcoholic steatohepatitis and is usually caused due to a large amount of alcohol consumption. Drinking more alcohol damages liver cells. In the early stage, there are no complications and inflammation. But when the liver is unable to break down the alcohol fat it creates harmful substances which may later promote inflammation and weakens the body’s immune system. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol may lead to liver failure.
What are the stages of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver progresses through four stages as:
- Simple fatty liver: At this stage, there is a build-up of excess fat in the liver.
- Steatohepatitis: In addition to having excess fat, your liver starts to become inflamed or swollen which later damages its tissue
- Fibrosis: At this stage, scar tissues are formed where the liver is damaged.
- Cirrhosis: At this stage, Extensive scar tissue replaces healthy tissue of the liver as a result of severe damage to the liver. These extensive hard scar tissues slowly slow down the liver’s functioning. It may also lead to blocking all liver functions which later results in liver cancer or liver failure.
How do you know if you are suffering from fatty liver?
Symptoms of a fatty liver include:
- Abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice).
- Swelling in abdomen and legs
- Extreme tiredness
- Slight pain in the abdomen.
What are the causes of Fatty liver Disease?
Following are some main causes of fatty liver disease:
- Being obese or overweight.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Having Type 2 diabetes.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Having metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance).
- History of having certain infections, like hepatitis C.
- Rare genetic conditions.
- Having high blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels
- Taking certain prescription medications, such as amiodarone, trexall, diltiazem, Nolvadex, or steroids.
What foods cause fatty liver?
Following are some foods that cause fatty liver and are suggested to avoid when possible.
- Fried foods like fries, burgers, fritters are high in fat and calories.
- Alcohol (a major cause of fatty liver disease as well as other liver-related diseases)
- Sugary foods like candy, cookies, sodas, and also packaged fruit juices.
- White bread, rice, and pasta.
- Red meat.
- Poultry, except for lean white meat
- Full-fat cheese and yogurt, except low-fat
- Foods made with palm oil.
How can I reduce my fatty liver?
There are several lifestyles and diet changes that will help to reduce or cure your fatty liver.
1. Lose weight:
If you’re consuming excess calories then, this is a reminder to stop doing it. Eating too many calories will make you overweight or obese and that is the main cause of becoming your liver fatty. Losing 6% to 10% of body weight will lower the inflammation and cure some injury of liver cells. Try to go slow as rapid weight loss will make things worse. Track your calories consumption each day to reduce the chances of consuming excess calories. Eat healthy and non-processed food to lose weight. Avoid fried, sugary, and salty processed food. Not just that, you should increase your physical activity to lose weight. If you find any difficulty in losing weight, use herbal fat loss supplements. It will boost the metabolism, stamina and suppress the hunger pangs that give you better and faster results without any withdrawal effects.
2. Choose a healthy diet:
Choose a healthy diet that contains fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to select foods from all types of food groups that are rich in fiber, protein, and have low-fat content. Limit or avoid refined carbohydrates, high sodium, saturated, and trans fats. Drink plenty of water to make your liver work better. You can consume monounsaturated healthy fat in avocado, olive, and nuts form. To maintain your insulin level take omega-3 fatty acids that are easily found in fish, walnuts, flaxseed, fish oil capsules, and leafy vegetables. You can consume supplements for better nutrient absorption. Check below to know the best foods for your liver.
Fruits and vegetables:
berries, apples, dates, figs, squash, melons, sweet potato, oranges, bananas, leafy greens, broccoli, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes.
beans, peas, pulses, chickpeas, lentils
nuts, seeds, tuna and salmon fish, avocados, olives.
Unprocessed whole grains:
whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole oats, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa.
3. Exercise and be more active:
Exercising and staying active is important whether you have fatty liver or not. Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise will help you to lose weight and stay healthy. Aerobic exercise and some heavy workouts help to reduce inflammation. Strength training or resistance training exercises, like powerlifting also improve fatty liver disease. Doing mid-to high-level aerobic exercise for 30 to 50 minutes on at least 6 days a week and strength training for at least 3 days a week may cure fatty liver disease.
4. Control your diabetes and cholesterol level:
If you’re suffering from high cholesterol levels or diabetes, it’s important to consult your doctor. Take doctor’s recommended medications to maintain your cholesterol level and control your diabetes. To maintain your blood sugar and cholesterol level, you can eat a healthy plant-based diet, do physical exercise. This will helps to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels and protect your liver.
5. Protect your liver:
Take liver supplements to protect your liver. Try to avoid those things that will put extra stress on your liver health. For instance, don’t drink alcohol. Always check the instructions on all medications and don’t forget to carefully read the drug salts when purchasing any medicines. You can consult with your doctor before purchasing and using any medicines.
Can fatty liver be cured by using Antioxidants and Supplements?
Yes, your fatty liver can be cured or even reversed using antioxidants and supplements. Liver cells usually get damaged when nutrients don’t break down properly and this can lead to fat buildup. Antioxidants and supplements will help to protect your liver cells from getting damaged and cure your fatty liver. Following are some foods that have antioxidants.
- Green tea
- Fruits, especially berries
- Leafy Vegetables.
- Raw garlic or garlic powder
- Turmeric powder
- Vitamin E.
- Sunflower seeds
You can use herbal extended liver support supplements to detox, correct, cleanse and protect your liver without having any kind of withdrawal effects.
How to prevent fatty liver?
To prevent fatty liver, it’s important to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Here are some common prevention tips that you can follow include:
- Limit or quit alcohol consumption
- manage your overall body weight
- Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
- Try to manage your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
- Contact your doctor if you suffer from diabetes.
- Do at least 30 minutes of exercise for better health.
1. What are the 3 major signs of a fatty liver?
Ans: Abdominal swelling, enlarged blood vessels, and spleen, jaundice are the three major signs of a fatty liver.
2. Is fatty liver painful?
Ans: No, fatty liver is not that painful, if it is in starting age. It can make you tired. Sometimes, you can feel little pain or fullness in your liver, or all over your belly.
3. What types of vitamins are good for liver repair?
Ans: Vitamin A,B12,D,E and iron are the best types of vitamins that are good for liver repair.
You can take a detovit supplement to get a sufficient amount of vitamins that will help to repair your liver.
4. What is acute fatty liver (AFLP)?
Ans: Acute fatty liver generally happens during pregnancy and that’s why it is also known as acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP). It is a rare case but when there is excess fat builds up in the liver during pregnancy there might be serious pregnancy complications.