The integral health of our entire body is not only based on external beauty and good muscle tone; much of the welfare depends on bodies that usually do not take care as they should.
The fatty liver disease is becoming more common in modern societies, affecting 25% of the world population. In addition, it is related to some pathologies such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and different disorders characterized by insulin resistance in the blood.
If you have felt that your health is not going well, or suffer from liver diseases, it is vitally important that you know what fatty liver is , its causes and how to cure it.
What is the fatty liver?
Fatty liver, as its name suggests, is the accumulation of fat particles in liver cells. The normal thing is that there is a little fat in this organ (as also happens on the outside of the individual), but when the amount of fat exceeds more than 5% of the size of the liver, it can cause health problems.
Although fatty liver is almost always associated with excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is not always the main reason. Regarding non-alcoholic liver diseases, there are two stages:
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD): this is the initial stage; It can be reversible but difficult to diagnose early.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): involves a greater accumulation of fat and inflammation that is damaging the liver cells. There is also a risk of producing fibrosis (adhered tissues).
However, it is difficult to determine if the fatty liver will evolve from NAFLD to NASH, increasing the likelihood of suffering from cirrhosis and liver cancer. In turn, it can also be associated with different cardiac, renal and diabetic diseases.
What are the causes of fatty liver?
There are several factors that can contribute to the lodging of fat in liver cells, such as the following:
- Obesity: in addition to being harmful to other organs such as the heart, it is estimated that 30 to 90% of obese adults also suffer from NAFLD, while in children it is becoming increasingly common as a result of childhood obesity.
- Excess visceral fat: people with normal weight but excess visceral fat (which is in the abdominal area and surrounds the organs) may be at risk of liver disease .
- Insulin resistance: It has been shown that people with high insulin levels or who are resistant to it are potentially prone to lodge fat in the liver, especially those with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- High intake of refined carbohydrates : this promotes the storage of fats in the liver, because the body has the reserves of glycogen to stop and proceeds to transform calories into fat.
- Consumption of sugary drinks: it has been demonstrated that the fructose contained in soft drinks and other products such as packaged juices can be detrimental to the health of the liver, both in children and in adults.
In addition to these factors, the deterioration of intestinal health can be included as a cause of fatty liver. According to recent research, diseases such as gastritis or ulcers can contribute to the development of liver problems.
Symptoms of fatty liver
As for the symptoms of fatty liver, they could be so common that perhaps you would not have noticed. Among them are the following:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Elevated levels of insulin and triglycerides.
- Slight pain or discomfort in the upper right area of the abdomen.
- Elevated levels of liver enzymes.
When the fatty liver progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis , the symptoms may progress to the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Perennial abdominal pain.
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes.
It is important to keep in constant medical checkup to know the status of the values in the blood and the general state of the organism, so that in the case of suffering from NAFLD it can be reversed in time.
How to cure fatty liver?
Although it can be a complicated disease, do not worry, it has a solution. Changing certain habits in your life and including some activities and foods will contribute with a good treatment for fatty liver.
Lose weight and avoid overeating
Undoubtedly, being fatty liver the first thing you should do is losing weight, mainly when you suffer from obesity or you are overweight.
In a study conducted, it was shown that the reduction of daily intake to 500 calories has contributed to an approximate loss of 8% of body weight. Not only will you improve your appearance, you will also significantly help cleanse the liver of fats.
Regardless of whether weight loss is achieved through diet and exercise or surgery, both forms will produce the same result: a healthy liver.
Reduce the consumption of carbohydrates
Although the logic indicates that the first thing that must be reduced from the diet is fat, it turns out to be only 16% of the fat lodged in the liver comes from the fat included in the diet.
Surprising, is not it? According to researchers it was determined that 26% of liver fat comes from the process of lipogenesis. During lipogenesis, the body converts excess carbohydrates into fat, increasing the speed of conversion with the consumption of fructose and refined carbohydrates.
A diet low in carbohydrates (such as the ketogenic diet ) can reduce the fat in the liver considerably, and in a short time, as demonstrated by a study carried out with 14 obese men suffering from fatty liver; which for 12 weeks underwent a ketosis diet reaching satisfactory results. In total, 13 of them were able to significantly reduce the fat in the liver, including 3 that could completely cure the fatty liver.
Include foods that promote the loss of fat in the liver
In addition to reducing carbohydrate intake and avoiding excessive consumption of food, there are some foods that may be beneficial for fatty liver:
- Consumption of monounsaturated fat: different researchers recommend the consumption of foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids such as avocado, olive oil and nuts promote the loss of fat in the liver.
- Whey protein: it is also known as Whey Protein. In addition to being consumed to improve physical appearance, whey protein reduces fat in the liver by up to 20% in obese women. In addition to this, it can contribute to low levels of liver enzymes and other advanced liver diseases.
- The green tea: one study found that the antioxidants in green tea, called catechins promote the reduction of fat in people suffering from NAFLD.
- The soluble fiber: 10 to 14 gr consumption. Soluble fiber also contributes to liver health, reduces liver fat and helps increase insulin sensitivity.
Some supplements such as omega-3 , barbering and milk thistle are also associated with the contribution of liver health due to its protective, preventive and curative effects on liver health.
Although fatty liver can lead to serious health problems, these can be reduced if treated early. Following a healthy diet, avoiding excess carbohydrates, losing weight and exercising contributes to the reduction of fat in the liver and even decreases the risk of suffering from a serious illness such as liver cancer.