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.
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
Your 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.
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.
If 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:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- 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.