Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) wasn’t even on our radar screen 30 years ago. Today, it affects as many as 1/3 of Americans and is the leading form of liver disease in the United States.

Worse yet, it shows no signs of slowing down and threatens to overwhelm liver transplant programs in the coming decade.

According to Dr. Michael Curry, a hepatologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, about 80% of people with non alcoholic fatty liver disease will not develop a significant form of liver disease. In the other 20%, the condition will progress to non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and about 20-30% of NASH patients will progress to liver cirrhosis and end stage liver disease.

In the United States that means as many as 6 million people could be looking for liver transplants in the near future.

The fatty liver epidemic is a silent, but very real threat to the health of many Americans and one Dr. Curry believes could overwhelm liver transplant programs and create a situation where we’re simply unable to treat so many patients.

But non alcoholic fatty liver disease isn’t just an American problem. Recent reports out of England, Malaysia, and other countries show similar signs that fatty liver could quickly become a worldwide epidemic.

Let’s take a closer look at the disease.

What is non alcoholic fatty liver disease?

Doctors and medical professionals once believed fatty infiltration of the liver leading to liver damage and liver cirrhosis was caused by excessive alcohol consumption. They termed this condition alcoholic fatty liver disease.

While it’s true excessive alcohol consumption CAN and DOES cause liver damage, doctors soon realized there was something else going on when they started seeing patients with the same signs of liver damage, but who had no history of alcoholism. This condition soon became known as non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Put simply, non alcoholic fatty liver disease is the accumulation of fat (triglycerides) in liver cells due to non-alcohol related causes that can eventually lead to liver inflammation, liver scarring, liver cancer, complete liver failure, and death.

Some of the contributing factors to fatty liver disease include obesity, type II diabetes (diabetes mellitus), metabolic syndrome, high fat, high fructose, and high glycemic diets coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, medications and toxins, and insulin resistance.

Non alcoholic fatty liver disease generally progresses through the following stages:

  • Simple steatosis (fatty liver)
  • Fatty liver with inflammation (non alcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH)
  • Fatty liver with liver hardening and liver scarring (liver cirrhosis)
  • Liver cancer and/or complete liver failure
  • Death unless a liver transplant is performed

When too much fat accumulates in the liver, it clogs the spaces surrounding hepatocytes (liver cells), causes the liver to become larger and heavier, impairs the livers ability to filter toxins and other harmful substances from the blood, and reduces its ability to metabolize fats.

The earliest stage of fatty liver disease, simple steatosis, is usually easily reversed by dietary and lifestyle changes. However, as liver damage becomes more severe, it can lead to cell death and scarring (liver cirrhosis), at which point it often becomes irreversible and requires a liver transplant to save the life of the patient.

Why is non alcoholic fatty liver disease so dangerous?

Fatty liver disease is closely associated with obesity and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. This means it’s a very real threat for almost everyone.

The disease is so dangerous because it is what the National Institutes of Health refers to as a “silent disease”. Non alcoholic fatty liver disease develops over a long period of time, but many people experience few, if any, symptoms until the condition worsens to non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or cirrhosis.

Some people may experience a dull or aching pain on the right side of their abdomen, but most don’t. This pain is generally associated with the liver growing larger due to inflammation and stretching the lining of the liver or pressing against other organs. Other fatty liver symptoms include a swollen stomach or ankles, vomiting blood, general fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and jaundice.

Since the condition has few symptoms, it sneaks up on you and many people fail to seek fatty liver disease treatment early on when the condition is often reversible through a proper fatty liver diet and exercise.

The Fatty Liver Diet Guide can show you exactly which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have a fatty liver and provides precise fatty liver diet plans and even fatty liver diet recipes for those who want to be proactive at slowing and reversing the condition before it becomes untreatable.

To make matters worse, doctors can easily miss the disease even with the help of ultrasounds and CT scans, and even tests for elevated liver enzymes in the bloodstream aren’t 100% reliable. Many times the disease is first noticed during routine checkups or during blood tests for other conditions. A liver biopsy is the best way to get a definitive diagnosis.

Annual checkups with your doctor are important to help increase the chance a fatty liver is caught early.

If left untreated, NAFLD can bring about much more severe symptoms including brain changes (hepatic encephalopathy) that result from harmful toxins reaching the brain. A healthy liver filters these toxins from the blood so they never reach the brain. A damaged liver is unable to do so which can result in things like memory lapses, trouble sleeping, lack of coordination and balance, and damage to other organs of the body.

These more severe fatty liver disease symptoms can often be rather alarming. For example, hepatologists such as Dr. Kevin Mullen from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Dr. Michael Curry from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston report seeing patients who have:

  • Exhibited symptoms very similar to Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Mistakenly put their laundry in the refrigerator
  • Forgotten events that just took place the same day
  • Found themselves in a scalding hot shower and forgot how to turn it off
  • Walked around the neighborhood naked

Although seldom talked about, the liver performs over 500 known functions and is a bigger workhorse than even the heart. Thus, maintaining liver health should be a primary concern for everyone. Failing to do so is a true death sentence.

Who is at risk of getting non alcoholic fatty liver disease?

The short answer to this question is: everyone.

Fatty liver disease can affect men, women, and children of all ages and nationalities. It is most commonly found in people who suffer from type II diabetes and those who are overweight and/or obese (particularly around the mid section).

A recent study out of England suggests as many as 500,000 children between the ages of 4 and 14 in that country could be at risk of developing life-threatening liver disease in the future due to being overweight. A poor diet coupled with a lack of exercise are the leading culprits.

Some experts believe non alcoholic fatty liver disease will become a silent killer for this generation of children if the obesity epidemic is not kept under control. Most experts also agree that the biggest risk factor to developing non alcoholic fatty liver disease is being overweight. This is true for both children and adults.

How to treat non alcoholic fatty liver disease

Currently there is no single fatty liver treatment for ridding the body of non alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, if you suffer from a fatty liver or feel you are at risk of developing fatty liver disease, then here are a few guidelines you should follow to help prevent and reverse the condition:

  • Lose weight gradually and keep it off long-term. Stay away from fad diet programs that recommend starvation diets or extreme gastric bypass surgeries that can actually further exasperate a fatty liver. Instead, try programs like Fat Loss Factor and Paleo Burn to target fat in your mid section.
  • Stay active and exercise at least 30 minutes per day. Recent studies show resistance exercises can help improve a fatty liver and may be easier for people who are overweight and/or obese because they put less demand on the cardio-respiratory system.
  • Make dietary changes that limit fat consumption to less than 30% of the daily caloric intake. Be cautious of generalized diet advice such as “eat more fruits and vegetables” as some fruits (particularly those containing large amounts of fructose) can be harmful for people with non alcoholic fatty liver disease. See the Fatty Liver Diet Guide and Fatty Liver Bible for specific diet plans and foods that can be used to reduce liver fat and improve fatty liver disease.
  • Smaller, frequent meals are often better than large feasts for fatty liver patients.
  • Antioxidants such as silymarin (found in milk thistle) and vitamins C and E can help improve liver health when taken in the right ratios and dosages.
  • Don’t miss annual health checkups and stay in touch with your doctor on a regular basis. These are important for catching fatty liver disease early and giving you the best chance of beating the disease before it progresses to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Reduce strain on the liver by treating related conditions such as type II diabetes and hypertension.
  • Most importantly, if you’re overweight chances are you already have a fatty liver or will develop a fatty liver in the near future. Be proactive in treating non alcoholic fatty liver disease early on and don’t wait for it to worsen before you take action. By then it may already be too late.

Although there is no cure-all fatty liver treatment currently available for liver patients, there are certain things you can do right now to help slow and reverse non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Click here for a complete guide to combating and reversing fatty liver disease.

Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is no joke and is the leading cause of liver ailments in the United States, affecting approximately 2 to 5 percent of the population. Some experts suggest your chances of developing fatty liver may skyrocket to 1 in 3 over the next two decades.

This potentially life threatening disease that causes fatty infiltration of the liver and inflammation which can eventually lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer has doubled in the last 20 years and continues to rise year after year. It has close ties with obesity and diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes), and a recent study published by Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity suggests approximately 70 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also suffer from a fatty liver.

It was originally believed that excessive alcohol was the main factor contributing to fatty liver disease. This is still the case with alcoholic fatty liver disease where the excessive consumption of alcohol can cause massive liver damage and can lead to complete liver failure.

However, doctors soon realized that many patients who didn’t drink were developing the same liver problems and were experiencing the same fatty liver symptoms as those who did. These cases became diagnosed as non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Since alcohol consumption isn’t the problem with non alcoholic fatty liver disease, what is?

As is the case with many other ailments and diseases, eating too much and exercising too little are the main culprits, but it is likely there is a complex interplay of factors related to metabolic syndrome at work in most patients. The combination of eating too much and exercising too little is deadly at increasing weight and waist size, and having excess belly fat increases your chance of fatty liver by as much as 90%.

As fatty infiltration of the liver continues over time, the liver becomes larger and heavier. Eventually inflammation and scarring occurs and parts of the liver start to die. Once this happens the liver is no longer able to efficiently perform the vital tasks that are necessary for humans to survive.

Matters are made worse because a fatty liver usually isn’t painful in its early stages and a person may not experience any fatty liver symptoms early on, so early diagnosis and treatment is often missed.

So what can be done to treat a fatty liver?

Here are 5 fatty liver treatment tips that can help you take control of fatty liver disease.

1.) Lose Weight

fatty liver weight lossYour biggest ally in warding off fatty liver disease is to lose weight through a combination of diet and exercise. But you have to lose weight in the right way. Dorothy Spencer’s, Fatty Liver Diet Guide can help you every step of the way by providing you with fatty liver diet plans and fatty liver diet guidelines to follow.

Rapid weight loss is not recommended as it can actually shock the body into starvation mode which leads to even greater fat storage. Slowly losing just 10% of your body weight (30 pounds if you currently weigh 300 pounds) can greatly improve fatty liver and is the weight loss target set by the American Gastroenterological Association.

As further proof to the effectiveness of losing weight in improving liver function and warding off fatty liver disease, a study published by the journal, Hepatology, found participants who lost at least 5% of their body weight saw significant reductions in liver fat and were less insulin resistant than those who didn’t. Those who lost at least 9% saw existing liver damage actually reverse.

Scientific evidence continues to pile up which suggests fatty liver disease can be improved by losing weight and exercising on a regular basis. A couple of excellent programs exist that can help you reach your weight loss goals. These are The Fat Loss Factor and Paleo Burn that focuses more specifically on losing belly fat which is a common problem for most fatty liver patients.

Click here to watch a short video with some tips for losing the stubborn belly fat that plagues many people with fatty liver disease.

2.) Eat The Right Foods

Losing weight and exercising go hand and hand with eating the right fatty liver diet.

Eating the right foods is critically important for people with non alcoholic fatty liver disease, but a healthy diet will also improve many other aspects of your health. If possible, try to stay away from high-glycemic and easily digested carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, and many candies and breakfast cereals as these have been shown to increase the amount of fat occurring in the liver and bloodstream.

fatty liver diet foodsIf you have a fatty liver, increase your fiber and replace foods high in saturated fats with lean proteins. Also, keep in mind that saying something general like, “Eat more fruits and vegetables” doesn’t always apply to fatty liver patients.

As a general rule, eating more fruits and vegetables is a healthy choice, but as Debra Elkin points out in her guide to fatty liver disease, The Fatty Liver Bible, it’s more about eating the right fruits and vegetables that will make the difference.

As she points out, some fruits (especially those high in fructose) can actually make fatty liver disease worse. Her guide contains a large and well laid out list of foods that should be used as part of a fatty liver treatment plan along with foods fatty liver disease patients should avoid as much as possible.

3.) Emerging Evidence Suggests Not All Alcohol Is Bad

A long held belief in liver health is that all alcohol is bad. After all, it can lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease. But new studies have shown consuming light to moderate amounts of wine as part of a fatty liver treatment can actually improve non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A study by the University of California-San Diego found drinking one glass of wine per day cut the risk of liver disease in half when compared to drinking no alcohol at all. However, beer and liquor had the opposite effect and actually multiplied the risk of developing fatty liver disease by 4 times.

A similar study conducted on 9,885 men in Japan found “those who had around three or four alcoholic drinks spread over 21 days in a month had the lowest risk of all.” The study concluded that frequent, but moderate alcohol consumption could reduce the risk of fatty liver by as much as 60%. Again, the key is moderation.

Obesity, and not alcohol, continues to be the primary concern for fatty liver patients.

4.) Alternative Fatty Liver Treatments May Not Be Your Best Bet

Research continues to search for the best fatty liver treatment, but many findings are contradictory at best. Vitamin C and E, silymarin, selenium, Epsom salts, betaine, and various different diabetes medicines are all currently being researched as possible fatty liver treatments. However, for every study that suggests they are effective at treating non alcoholic fatty liver disease, there is another study that shows contradictory findings.

Until we have more definitive answers from ongoing research, losing weight through a fatty liver diet plan and exercise remains the best option for treating a fatty liver.

5.) Give Your Body A Break By Controlling Other Conditions Associated With Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease has close ties with many other medical conditions. Among these are:

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Hypertension
  • Insulin Resistance
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Seeking medical help for some of the above conditions can help relieve some of the stress your liver experiences when you have a fatty liver. Controlling these conditions can actually act as a round-a-bout fatty liver treatment.

Diet and exercise can help control things like obesity and high cholesterol, and there are even programs like The Diabetes Reversing Breakthrough that can help you control insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Hypertension (high blood pressure) can be brought under control with the help of the High Blood Pressure Remedy Report.

A Fatty Liver Diet Plan For The Treatment Of Fatty Liver Disease

A fatty liver diet plan can be the difference in a liver patient’s ability to successfully ward off and reverse non alcoholic fatty liver disease. A diet plan for fatty liver should focus on more than just treating fatty liver symptoms. By taking a holistic approach, the right foods can not only improve liver health, but also the overall health of your entire body.

Research suggests the liver performs anywhere from 200-500 (maybe more) functions in the human body. It is a large organ situated just below the ribs to the right side. It rests in the space below the lungs and above the kidneys. It’s critical to survival and without it, a human cannot survive.

Just a few critical liver functions include:

  • The production of bile which is used in the digestion and absorption of fats.
  • Nutrient processing and the formation of chemicals such as albumin, blood clotting chemicals, bile, and urea.
  • Removing toxins and dead cells from the bloodstream.
  • Building proteins which are used to build tissues throughout the body.
  • The breakdown and removal of cholesterol.
  • Blood-sugar regulation throughout the body.

Location of the liverPerhaps more than any other organ in the body, the liver is constantly under attack from chemicals, toxins, and other foreign bodies because everything you consume, good or bad, filters through the liver before being transported to other areas of the body in the bloodstream. Maintaining a healthy liver is key to maintaining the health of the rest of your body.

The human body is amazing at healing itself, but the liver is not invincible…

Fatty liver disease (FLD) is a general term describing a wide variety of liver ailments ranging from simple fatty liver to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. It all begins when triglyceride fat builds up in the liver and comprises more than 5-10% of the liver by weight. This is referred to as simple steatosis or fatty liver.

The process occurs when fat accumulates in and around the liver cells (hepatocytes). This results in an enlarged liver that often becomes heavier over time. When it becomes too large and heavy, some fatty liver disease patients will experience abdominal pain and/or a feeling of being “stuffed” in their lower torso area on the right side of the body.

Simple fatty liver is largely an asymptomatic condition and does little to affect the health of an individual. However, this also means it is often not diagnosed until it advances to a more serious condition such as non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis of the liver (liver scarring), or worse.

At this point, fatty liver symptoms may include things like weakness and general fatigue, nausea, anorexia, confusion, abdominal pain, and jaundice. Other fatty liver disease symptoms may include lower back and torso pain, lack of appetite, fluid retention, intestinal bleeding, and muscle wasting.

When liver damage occurs, a person will often have elevated liver enzymes in their bloodstream such as alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) that leak out from damaged hepatocytes. Finding elevated amounts of these enzymes in the bloodstream is often the first sign something has gone wrong in the liver. However, elevated ALT and AST doesn’t always correspond to liver damage because greater amounts can also be caused by things like muscle damage.

Symptoms of fatty liver are closely tied to and made worse by obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. In “The Fatty Liver Bible And Ezra Protocol” Debra Elkin states, “95% of NASH patients are obese and 55% have a condition called diabetes mellitus type 2.”

Given the strong link between obesity and fatty liver disease, it is important for FLD patients to control their weight through successful programs like “The Fat Loss Factor” and “Paleo Burn”. Both have given fatty liver patients the ability to reduce weight without starving the body of nutrition or going through extreme workout regimes that aren’t realistic for the average person.

Fatty liver disease is not curable, but can be slowed and reversed if caught early enough, and patients can live a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to become fatal if it progresses to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Under these circumstances, a liver transplant may be the only treatment option available to fatty liver disease patients.

The good news is a fatty liver diet plan combined with proper exercise can often be an effective fatty liver treatment for lowering elevated liver enzymes and healing a fatty liver. Along with a fatty liver diet, other fatty liver disease treatments such as vitamin C and E, Epsom salts, milk thistle, and a variety of different drugs have also gained popularity in some medical circles. For most liver patients, dietary and lifestyle changes are still the most promising out of all fatty liver remedies.

A diet for fatty liver should always follow a few key principles like those outlined in Debra Elkin’s, “The Fatty Liver Bible And Ezra Protocol” and Dorothy Spencer’s, “Fatty Liver Diet Guide”. These guides are important resources for fatty liver patients who want to control and prevent a simple fatty liver from progressing to a more serious, life-threatening condition.

A few tips to keep in mind when developing a fatty liver disease diet plan are:

  • Focus on foods high in complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grains, but try to avoid wheat because it contains phytic acid which can keep some minerals from being absorbed and because it contains gluten which can damage the small intestine.
  • Reduce your consumption of refined and simple carbohydrates like those found in sugar, white bread, egg noodles, cakes, and many desserts.
  • Eat plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables every single day. These can be taken as raw vegetable juices which can be extremely healthy for the liver. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal and things like oranges and grapefruits are better for fatty liver patients than fruits containing high levels of fructose such as dates, raisins, and figs.
  • Keep away from deep fried, fatty, and processed foods. Processed meats such as sausage and hot dogs are some of the worst if you suffer from fatty liver disease.
  • Dairy products should be consumed sparingly. Try organic yogurts and ricotta and/or cottage cheese. Soy and rice milks are better than whole or 2% milks.
  • Avoid saturated fats like those found in margarine and fatty condiments like salad dressing.
  • Sugary fruit juices, energy drinks, coffee, and alcohol should all be avoided or used sparingly. If you suffer from alcoholic fatty liver disease, then all alcohol should be avoided.
  • Focus on lean white meats such as chicken or turkey instead of beef or pork. Free range meats are best as they don’t contain harmful steroids, growth hormones, and other antibiotics.
  • Consume eggs sparingly as they often contain hormones that can negatively impact the liver.
  • Consume plenty of fiber as part of a fatty liver disease diet to maintain a healthy digestive and endocrine system.
  • Drink plenty of water. 2 liters per day or more is recommended.

An excellent breakdown of foods for fatty liver can be found in the “Fatty Liver Bible And Ezra Protocol”, and the “Fatty Liver Diet Guide” contains actual fatty liver diet plans and fatty liver diet recipes to help you lose weight gradually and reverse a fatty liver. These resources continue to be a blessing for people suffering from both alcoholic and non alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis.

Fatty Liver Symptoms Explored

Fatty liver symptoms often go unnoticed by both liver patients and doctors. There are several reasons for this.

First, since the liver is an internal organ, you won’t be able to see any inflammation or scarring that may be occurring with the naked eye. As fat accumulates in the liver, it takes over the spaces normally used by healthy liver cells (hepatocytes) and the liver becomes larger and heavier. However, in most circumstances, you won’t notice any symptoms as fatty infiltration causes your liver to slowly enlarge over time. Fatty liver disease and its corresponding stages can take years or even decades to fully develop.

Fatty liver diseaseSecond, fatty liver disease symptoms can be difficult to detect because the liver lacks the sensitive pain receptors found in other areas of the body. Therefore, you may not experience liver damage as pain. When pain does occur it usually results from the stretching of the peritoneum (a membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity and covers most of the intra-abdominal organs including the liver) or from an enlarged liver that puts pressure on other internal organs and other areas of the body.

Third, non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) progresses through several different stages: fatty liver (simple steatosis), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver cirrhosis (permanent scarring, fibrosis, and liver hardening), and eventually complete liver failure. You’ll experience few, if any, signs of liver damage when fat first starts to accumulate in the liver during the first stage (fatty liver). Read the rest of this entry

Fatty Liver And Obesity – Cause For Concern If You’re Overweight?

fatty liver and obesityThe terms fatty liver and fatty liver disease (FLD) are often used interchangeably. However, technically speaking, fatty liver disease is a broad term that describes many different liver conditions including fatty liver (steatosis), non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and cirrhosis.

What Is A Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver refers to the accumulation of fat in the liver. A healthy liver breaks down fats in the body. However, when certain conditions persist, more fat moves into the liver than out of it and a fatty liver occurs. Over time, fatty liver can become a silent killer.

To help fight the disease and promote weight loss, Dr. Charles Livingston of Fishers, Indiana designed the Fat Loss Factor to help heal your liver so it can burn body fat the way it’s designed to, all while allowing you to keep eating most of the foods you love.

As fatty infiltration of the liver worsens, NASH develops which refers to a fatty liver that causes inflammation. Over time, chronic inflammation leads to liver scarring which is largely irreversible and is known as liver cirrhosis. Eventually liver cancer can develop, resulting in complete liver failure and death.

FLD is generally broken down into two types: non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFL). The principle difference is NAFLD is caused by factors unrelated to alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is the sole cause of AFL.

NAFLD is the most common liver disease in the United States, affecting nearly 30 million people. Approximately 25% of the world’s population is also affected by the disease. It is believed that over 6 million Americans have a fatty liver that has advanced at least as far as NASH (fatty liver with inflammation). If that isn’t scary enough, the disease is also showing up more and more often in children. Read the rest of this entry

Fatty Liver Treatment – Exploring Diet And Alternative Fatty Liver Remedies

Obese ManFatty liver treatment is a topic of much controversy. Although it is commonly accepted there is no “cure” for fatty liver disease, medical experts agree the condition can be reversed and a fatty or enlarged liver can be reduced through proper treatment options.

However, at the center of the debate is which remedy is best for treating a fatty liver.

Fatty liver is often referred to as an asymptomatic disease and is extremely common in people who are overweight and over the age of 30. Most people don’t know they have it because they experience few, if any, symptoms until the condition worsens.

Keep in mind, being silent and asymptomatic does not mean the disease can’t be deadly. If left unmonitored and untreated a fatty liver can turn into cirrhosis, liver cancer, and eventually complete liver failure.

A normal, healthy liver is reddish in color and has a uniform texture. However, as triglyceride fats start to accumulate in the liver, the liver becomes larger, heavier, and begins to take on a more yellowish, greasy appearance.

Spaces within the liver through which blood is generally filtered start to fill up with fat and the liver can no longer perform its filtering functions efficiently. Fats and toxins can no longer be removed from the bloodstream in an effective manner, resulting in poor liver function that can lead to a host of other problems such as type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

In short, a fatty liver stores fat when it should be burning fat and removing it from the body. This makes it extremely hard for a person with fatty liver disease to lose weight and get healthy. With potentially serious consequences, it is extremely important for a person with fatty liver to start treating, regulating, and monitoring the condition as soon as possible.

So what fatty liver treatment options are available for reducing an enlarged liver? Read the rest of this entry

What Is The Best Fatty Liver Diet For People With Fatty Liver Disease?

fatty liver diet guideWhat is the best fatty liver diet? If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you may have fatty liver disease, then one of your first questions might be, “What foods should I eat to maintain healthy liver function?”

The easiest and most accurate response to that question is, “It depends”. Finding an all-in-one solution when it comes to a fatty liver diet plan is virtually impossible. There are too many factors at play and the best diet will depend on the underlying causes of fatty liver.

For example, the best fatty liver diet for someone with diabetes may differ from the best plan for someone without diabetes. Other questions that must be considered include:

  • What is the patient’s age?
  • What stage of the disease is present? (Fatty liver disease progresses through four stages from simple steatosis to Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis or NASH)
  • Is the cause alcoholic or non-alcoholic?
  • Are obesity and other conditions present in the patient?

With that being said, all cases of fatty liver disease do have some similarities when it comes to diet and nutrition.

First, understand fatty liver disease can’t be “cured”. It can merely be regulated and kept from progressing through a balanced, healthy diet. In some cases, the condition will even reverse or improve, but it is never “cured” in the sense of completely going away.

A healthy, balanced diet is absolutely critical if you want to reverse and improve fatty liver disease. The liver is a critical organ in the body because everything you ingest, whether good or bad, goes through the liver. When you eat a poor diet, you constantly leave your liver under attack.

Vitamins and minerals should be an important part of any fatty liver diet plan because they are needed for metabolism, growth, development, and as catalysts in energy production from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

They also play roles in creating hormones and red blood cells. However, not all vitamins and minerals are healthy for people with fatty liver if taken in excess. Read the rest of this entry

What Is Fatty Liver Disease And How Do I Know If I Have It?

Fatty liver (also known as fatty liver disease or FLD) occurs when there is an excess accumulation of triglyceride fat in the liver.  The triglyceride fats accumulate when cells abnormally retain lipids via the process of steatosis.

When too much fat accumulates in the liver, it takes up space within and around the hepatocytes (liver cells).  The fat takes over the spaces normally used by healthy cells and the liver becomes larger and heavier.  People experiencing fatty liver disease sometimes experience pressure due to the liver enlarging.

A normal, healthy liver is triangular in shape and has a reddish-brown appearance.  If you take a cross-section of a healthy liver, you’ll find a lot of vacant spaces and channels (sinusoids).  These are normally filled with blood and allow the absorption of essential fats, proteins, and acids, and allow for blood to be filtered.

In a fatty liver, the color is often yellowish, and you’ll often notice signs of stretching and swelling.  A cross section will reveal fewer spaces and channels as many will be filled up with fat.  In severe cases, the blood filtering process will be impaired and complete liver failure can occur.

The liver is a vital organ and performs hundreds of critical functions in the body.  It is second in size only to your skin, and it is the heaviest organ, weighing up to 3lbs.  Maintaining proper liver function is critical to living a long and healthy life.  If your liver stays healthy, much of the rest of your body will stay healthy as well.

Fatty liver by itself is not fatal.  However, if not identified early and kept under control, it can lead to more severe conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Read the rest of this entry