Fatty liver disease is such a common occurrence that one in five adults suffers from it. Unfortunately the vast majority have no idea they have this problem, which can prove to be dangerous for them. Here we’ll tell you about the causes and treatment of fatty liver disease.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver is a condition caused by the accumulation of fat deposits in the liver, which is a result of the liver‘s inability to effectively process and break down fats. This causes a build-up of fat in the liver tissue, and over time this fatty accumulation can enlarge the liver and cells of this organ could be replaced with scar tissue.
When this happens, the liver can no longer function properly, and this could cause liver failure or turn into liver cancer. This is why it is critical for those suffering from this disease to identify it and take action based on the most appropriate treatment for them.
Also, the most important factor is early detection, since following the recommendations of a specialist and making dietary and lifestyle changes, along with taking certain supplements, makes it easy to stop the progression of the disease and in the majority of cases can also make it completely disappear.
According to some studies, people who suffer from diabetes, those having high cholesterol, and those suffering from obesity are more like to have fatty liver disease as well. It has also been observed that this disease is more common in men than women.
People who are insulin resistant can also suffer from this disease; it is not a requirement that the person have diabetes, only that the cells in the body do not respond to the hormone that controls blood sugar, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin so that the body can respond adequately.
What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Excess fat accumulating in the liver complicates and limits its ability to rid the body of toxins and remove cholesterol from the blood, nor can it function normally, which significantly affects the overall health of the body in its entirety.
When the disease first manifests itself, it might not come with significant symptoms, but over time the following could appear:
- difficulty concentrating
- pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
- discoloration in different areas of the body (such as the neck or the armpits)
- anxiety in the afternoons
- uric acid
- high cholesterol and triglycerides
- abdominal fat
- hair loss and acne
- snoring, and in some patients warts appear on the neck and in the armpits.
If this disease is not treated in time and the fat continues accumulating, inflammation, scarring, and cirrhosis will develop, eventually causing:
- fluid retention
- loss of muscle mass
- internal hemorraghing
- yellowing of the skin and the eyes (jaundice).
What foods should be avoided when treating fatty liver disease?
Some studies have shown that it is important to avoid foods containing sugar, above all those with a high fructose content, such as corn syrup, as well as refined carbohydrates or bakery products made with white flour.
People suffering from fatty liver have many nutritional deficiencies even though they eat in abundance and consume a high amount of calories.
What foods should be consumed regularly when treating fatty liver disease?
It is vital for those with fatty liver disease to consume an extra amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which are found in vegetables; this will help to slow down the damage occurring in the liver cells. Likewise, it is important to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, these are foods rich in antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, which help to combat numerous problems, especially inflammation.
Milk Thistle Extract
Milk thistle extract is a supplement that has been seen to be effective in treating fatty liver disease, since it has an ingredient known as silymarine, which has excellent liver healing properties and protects it from free radicals. The result is an increase in the concentration of the most powerful antioxidants in the body, these are: glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
Protein synthesis is also stimulated as a result, which helps to regenerate the cells of the liver and forms new hepatic tissue. It is very important to consume milk thistle that contains at least 80% silymarine and take 165 milligrams twice a day.
This is a natural and important complement found to be effective for treatment of fatty liver disease. According to a clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with fatty liver that were given a vitamin E supplement showed a great improvement in the symptoms characterizing this disease, like inflammation, enlarged liver, and fat accumulation.
The majority of patients saw resolution to their health problems.
D-limonene is a compound of essential oils that are extracted from the peel of citrus fruits and has proven to be effective in combating the accumulation of fat, while at the same time preventing insulin resistance.
Exercise helps improve insulin resistance. For this reason it is important to do aerobic exercise for at least a half hour (five times per week), and if a person suffers from extreme obesity bariatric surgery is another recommendable option. This will drastically improve diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, and arterial hypertension.
Remember, it is vitally important that weight loss be controlled.
How can you prevent this disease?
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Avoid consuming painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Lose weight gradually.
- Get vaccinations for hepatitis A and B.
- Increase your intake of antioxidants.
If you have one or more of the symptoms of fatty liver disease, speak immediately with your doctor, since this will be the best help for early detection.
Don’t wait until your liver has been too damaged and treatment is useless. Remember that any change you notice in your body or in the behavior of your body is a warning sign that something is not functioning well and you should pay proper attention to these signs. In this way, you will be able to quickly identify what is failing and get appropriate treatment.
As a preventative measure, even if you have no symptoms of fatty liver disease, first would be to reduce your consumption of sugar and increase intake of fruits and vegetables. You can also add a recommended supplement, either of milk thistle or vitamins E and D; this will help you have more energy and above all protect yourself against fatty liver disease.