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How to Overcome Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a widely prevalent condition. As per studies, currently, 25% of the population is thought to have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. It occurs due to fat buildup in the liver. The first point of discovery by patients is usually by coincidence during imaging tests or blood tests, since there is no outward symptom that can point to this condition. However, it is true that in some cases it can lead to serious condition if left unchecked. Let’s check which type of NAFLD can be a threat to health.


Types of NAFLD

There are two broad types of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) - This pertains to fat deposits inside the liver cells (steatosis), but doesn’t have any scarring or inflammation
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) - This pertains to fat deposits inside the liver cells (steatosis). However, unlike NAFL, there is considerable scarring and inflammation
  • It is evident that NASH is the more concerning condition out of the two.


Causes, symptoms, and risks

NAFLD can occur when the too much fat build up in the liver or the fat is not properly metabolized. A liver is considered fatty if the fat composition is more than 5%. While most of the fatty liver cases are brought about by excessive alcohol consumption, there are other causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These include:


Insulin resistance and high insulin levels that increases liver fat storage

Obesity too promotes liver fat storage. Obesity in children too is leading to advanced liver fat storage issues
Fat in the abdomen area deposits fat in the liver cells, thus impairing its function
Some typical symptoms of NAFLD is fatigue, slight enlargement of the right or center abdominal area, or high insulin levels. However, as mentioned before, the symptoms typically are non-existent for NAFLD.

When NAFLD progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), it can display symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or excessive abdominal pain.

As the time of non-detection of NAFLD progresses, the risks too increase. If corrective action is not taken on time in the form of diet and lifestyle modification and drug-based therapy, then it can lead to NASH, progress to cirrhosis, and eventually lead to liver failure.


How to keep liver healthy?

It doesn’t require heavy drug usage to reverse fat deposits in liver. Lifestyle modification, eating habits change, and exercises can help in reversing the condition

Here are some ways in which we can bring about a change to the prevalence of NAFLD:


1 – Dietary modification

  • Avoid overeating to accelerate the reversal of fatty deposits in liver cells. Be it any trigger – surgery, exercise, or dietary control, weight loss is proven to be effective in decreasing fat deposits in liver cells, thus reducing the impact of NAFLD.
  • People who cut down on refined carbs also showed promise of reduction of fatty deposits in the liver. A low carb ketogenic diet is especially considered effective in using dietary measures to bring down the harm caused by NAFLD.


2 – Supplements

  • Berberine is a compound that has been shown in some studies to overcome the issues of fatty liver disease. This compound is isolated from traditional Chinese medicine. In controlled studies, it is found that Berberine shows promising potential to overcome the problems of fatty liver diseases.
  • Milk thistle is another antioxidant medicine that can improve the outcomes for a patient afflicted with NAFLD. The ingredients within the medicine promote anti-oxidant properties and reduces inflammatory reaction, thus proving to be especially useful in scarring associated with fatty lived deposits (also known as NASH)


3 – Exercises

With endurance training or high resistance exercises, it is possible to decrease liver fat. Irrespective of whether the weight loss has actually occurred or not, these exercises have been instrumental in improving liver fat deposit reduction.

Yoga – specific asanas are meant to protect the liver’s well-being. Below are two yoga poses that keep liver healthy


Kapalbhati

This is a breathing technique that helps improve the liver’s health. It helps to avoid issues like cirrhosis and other conditions related to the liver.

It is very simple to perform the asana. You need to sit cross-legged on the ground. Inhale deeply and exhale with force through the nostrils. You can practice this simple technique for 15 minutes daily to see visible results.


Dhanurasana

This bow-shaped asana helps puts pressure on the liver, stimulates it, and is considered good for overcoming fatty liver disease.

Lie on your belly and raise hands and feet at the same time. Try to get the hands to meet the feet by making your hands go above your head and towards the back. Hold the pose for as long as you can.


To summarize

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can afflict any of us. Its best to make simple modifications to lifestyle and introduce workouts and Yoga poses that are meant specifically to keep liver healthy.

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