There are two main types of fatty liver disease, which include non alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD) and non alcoholic steatorrhoeic hepatitis(NASH) Steatosis or fatty liver is a build up of fats in the liver, replacing the healthy tissues and producing enlargement of the rest of the liver cells.
In some cases, this condition leads to serious complications when the disease damages the organ leading to cirrhosis. Steatohepatitis is a symptom when fatty liver is associated with inflammation of the liver, which ultimately can lead to jaundice (hepatitis), liver failure and liver cancer.
In obese individuals and those with abnormal body weight, fat build up seems to progress quite rapidly without any symptoms. When the fat deposits account for 10% of the liver’s weight, symptoms start to develop.
These include mild abdominal discomfort, nausea, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion with trouble concentrating, patchy dark skin in underarms and neck region. Persistent fever, jaundice and fatigue are some of the symptoms associated with inflammation of the liver.
Lack of exercise, a diet high in saturated fats, alcohol intake, diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity are some of the risk factors of fatty liver disease. In some rare cases pregnancy, hypothyroidism polycystic ovarian syndrome and certain medications such as corticosteroids, and tetracycline, may also prove to be a risk factor.
A combination of healthy foods enhances liver function. However, by eating the right foods in required quantities and avoiding the wrong types of food one can combat fatty liver effectively. Obese individuals are more prone to this condition as there is a considerable amount of fat deposit in the tissues and the organs including the liver.
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Therefore cutting down fat consumption is the first step toward boosting liver function. Nevertheless, this might lead to effects of withdrawal such as hunger pangs. To overcome this adopting a fat free wholesome diet will improve overall health and help the liver function effectively.
Limiting intake of refined carbs and increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables along with a diet rich in whole grains instead of processed foods, high in fats, taking lean meats instead of red meats switching over to low fat milk instead of full cream milk and using oil rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can help reverse fatty liver.
Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to liver cirrhosis. Hence, avoiding or quitting alcohol altogether, help prevent this condition. Since alcohol can degenerate, the condition of the liver, treatment becomes very difficult when a person is diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.
An effective treatment with proper medication may be required and it would be difficult to reverse the effects of later stages of liver diseases, but may try to avoid further damage to the liver.
Few life style changes are necessary to combat fatty liver. Controlling diabetes with proper medications, diet and exercise, reducing triglycerides and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels are the other factors that have a positive influence on the healthy functioning of the liver.
Reducing abdominal fat by eating smaller meals besides following a strict exercise regime by walking, jogging and doing yoga all help boost liver health and help combat the disease.
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