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    How to Cure a Fatty Liver Naturally

    Learn the signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease

    There are no quick fixes for curing a fatty liver naturally, but with changes to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits – you can heal your liver and reduce the risk factors that come with a fatty liver. 

    Fatty liver disease is the most common form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD includes a number of liver conditions where there is an excess accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink minimal or no alcohol.

    According to the American College of Gastroenterology, NAFLD impacts as many as one in three to one in five adults and one in 10 children in the United States. These experts say obesity is believed to be the most common cause of fat build-up in the liver, with estimates that two thirds of obese adults and half of obese children may have fatty liver. 

    Unfortunately, many people have never heard of fatty liver disease or understand how serious it is to their short and long-term health. Most people associate liver disease with drinking large quantities of alcohol. However, health conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other insulin resistance-related disorders put people at risk for fatty liver disease.

    In this blog we explain the signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease, explain fatty liver disease, and give you 6 ways to help you cure your fatty liver naturally. Our goal is to give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. 

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    What is Fatty Liver Disease?

    Fatty liver disease is a health condition caused by a build-up of fat in your liver.

    We really like the way the Canadian Liver Foundation describes fatty liver:

    Fat in the liver typically develops when a person consumes more fat and sugars than his or her body can handle. This is more common in people who are overweight or obese but can also occur in adults with healthy body weights.

    If fat builds up to more than 5% of the liver, then the liver is considered to be a fatty liver.

    When people talk about fatty liver disease, they can be referring to NAFLD, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), or simple fatty liver:

    The Canadian Liver Foundation says NAFLD is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome – a health disorder characterized by a group of risk factors (large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol, and abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood) that greatly increase the risk of many chronic illnesses.
    • NASH: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a more serious form of NAFLD. The American Liver Foundation says 20% of people with NAFLD have NASH or 5% of adults in the U.S. People with NASH have swelling or inflammation (hepatitis) of the liver, liver cell damage, and fat accumulation in the liver. NASH is linked to persistent liver damage and can result in cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and a liver transplant.
    • Simple Fatty Liver: with this type of fatty liver disease, there is fat in the liver but there is minimal liver inflammation or damage to the liver cells. This type of fatty liver disease is not associated with liver damage.

    What Causes Fatty Liver Disease?

    The causes of fatty liver disease can include:

    • Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance
    • Obesity or being overweight
    • Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels)
    • A side effect of certain prescription medications
    • Protein malnutrition or starvation
    • Intestinal bypass surgery for obesity
    • Sudden or rapid weight loss

    The Cleveland Clinic says you have a greater chance of developing fatty liver disease if you:

    • Are Hispanic or Asian
    • Are a postmenopausal woman 
    • Have obesity or high levels of belly fat
    • Have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol
    • Have obstructive sleep apnea (a blocked airway that causes breathing to start and stop during sleep)

    However, people without any of these risk characteristics or health conditions can still develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is important to understand that anyone, regardless of age, can develop fatty liver disease.

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

    Generally, there are no unique signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease. However, these signs and symptoms are associated with fatty liver disease:

    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Increased liver enzymes (AST and ALT)
    • Elevated insulin levels
    • High triglyceride levels

    Often people with fatty liver disease have minimal symptoms until the disease progresses to more serious levels. The Cleveland Clinic lists these symptoms of fatty liver disease that can indicate more advanced disease:

    • Abdominal pain or a feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the abdomen (belly)
    • Nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss
    • Yellowish skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Swollen abdomen and legs (edema)
    • Extreme tiredness or mental confusion
    • Weakness

    If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, please consult your doctor. These symptoms should not be ignored and do require expert medical attention. 

    Because the symptoms of early stages of fatty liver disease are easy to miss, it is typically only diagnosed when your doctor sees abnormal blood test results. If your liver enzymes are elevated, your doctor may use an ultrasound, CT scan, liver biopsy, or FibroScan to take a closer and more definitive look at your liver.

    The Canadian Liver Foundation does state that excess abdominal fat is associated with fatty liver disease and other health risks such as diabetes. Simply measuring your waist circumference can tell you a lot about your risk for fatty liver disease:

    • For men, health risks increase if your waist circumference is more than 40 inches (102 cm.)
    • For women, health risks increase if your waist circumference is more than 35 inches (88 cm.)

    6 Ways to Cure a Fatty Liver Naturally

    The good news is the liver has the power to heal and regenerate. However, this doesn’t happen without lifestyle changes that give the liver a chance to recover from a build-up of toxins, fat, and continual overload.

    To cure your fatty liver naturally, the following 6 lifestyle habits and changes can help:

      1. Change the types of carbohydrates you consume. Many of us eat too many refined carbohydrates, this results in spikes in blood sugar, lethargy, and weight gain. Small changes such as replacing white rice with brown rice, instant oatmeal with large flake oats, apple juice with an apple, or potatoes with sweet potatoes can help prevent insulin spikes and give you better long-lasting energy. 
      2. Eat foods high in soluble fiber. Add foods such as avocados, beans, berries, apples, strawberries, and large flake oats to your diet. The soluble fiber helps slow down digestion, giving you a feeling of fullness for longer. 
      3. Move your bodyRecent research shows that a sedentary lifestyle can be linked to NAFLD, and other health conditions linked to a fatty liver including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Aim to move your body for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Try to add some type of movement into your day – walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, pilates, weightlifting, etc. – this will do wonders for your stress levels, mental health, and overall fitness. 
      4. Try to limit sugar. Eating and drinking too much sugar has the same impact on your liver as drinking too much alcohol – causing an accumulation of fat in your liver. To limit your sugar intake swap water for sugary sweetened beverages, replace packaged foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, instead of sweetened yogurt choose plain yogurt and add your own berries, and always try to have fresh fruits and vegetables available for snacks. 
      5. Get more sleep. Sleep is a critical component of your physical, mental, and liver health. When you’re sleep deprived, your metabolism is impacted, and this changes the way your liver converts the foods you eat into energy. A side effect of lack of sleep is feeling lethargic and sluggish – many of us turn to sugary foods for an energy boost, starting a cycle of energy spikes and lows. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night – this gives your body time to heal injuries, build muscle, digest food, and let your brain recharge so you’re ready for the next day.
      6. Naturally detox or cleanse your liver. Your liver is your powerhouse organ and as a result it’s always working trying to keep you healthy. Unfortunately, our modern-day lifestyles put inadvertent stress on the liver, causing it to be stressed and overworked. A natural liver detox combined with healthful lifestyle choices can help your liver heal naturally and safely.

    Your liver health is critical to your overall health. The liver has over 500 functions in your body and simply put – a healthy liver is a must-have. 

    The Canadian Liver Foundation sums up the liver and its importance to your overall health:

    Your liver is your power source. It helps digest your food and turns it into energy. By converting proteins, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins into energy, the liver ensures your body has what it needs to keep going.

    Your liver is your engine. It drives many of your body’s critical systems and when it breaks down, your body will too. 

    Your liver is your pharmacist. It must process all medications, vitamins or herbal remedies you take before they can take effect. Mixing over overdosing medications can damage this vital organ. 

    Take care of your liver and your liver will take care of you. 

    Learn more about Liver Focus and how it helps support healthy liver function and helps your overworked liver heal naturally.

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