Did you know the second largest organ in your body is the liver? The liver filters toxins out of your blood. Fatty liver is also known as hepatic steatosis. This occurs when fat builds up in the liver. It is important to note that it is normal for your liver to have small amounts of fat. However, if you have more than 10% fat in your liver, it can cause liver inflammation.(2) Liver inflammation causes damage to your liver and creates scarring. In severe cases, this scarring can lead to liver failure. This is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. (NAFLD) According to researchers, NAFLD affects up to 25 to 30 percent in the United States and Europe. (1) In this article, we will discuss fatty livers and how to reverse fatty liver disease. First, we will discuss some symptoms of fatty liver disease.
What Are The Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease usually doesn’t have noticeable symptoms. You may feel tired. There are some people who experience discomfort or pain in the abdomen.
Possible signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in the Abdominals
- Enlargement of Blood Vessels
- Spleen Enlargement
- Red Palms
- Yellowing of Skin(5)
- Overweight or Obesity
- Insulin Resistance
- High Blood Sugar
- High Levels of Fats
When these health problems are combined, it appears to promote fat deposits in the liver. Sometimes the fat deposits cause liver inflammation. The inflammation can lead to a buildup of scar tissue in the liver as well. Now that you know what the symptoms of fatty liver disease are, we will discuss the risk factors.
What Are The Risk Factors of Fatty Liver Disease?
A wide range of diseases and conditions can increase your risk of NAFLD, including:
- High Cholesterol
- High Levels of Triglycerides
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Under-active Thyroid
- Under-active Pituitary Gland
- Older People
- People with Diabetes
- People with High Body Fat in Abdomen
If you have several of the above-mentioned risk factors, you should go and be tested by your family doctor. Now we will discuss what we can do to try to prevent developing fatty liver disease.
Although we have mentioned many risk factors, there are some ways to try to reduce your risk of developing NAFLD:
- Choose a Healthy Diet
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Nutritional Support Supplements
In order to prevent developing fatty liver, you should try to eat healthily. You will want to choose a low carb or ketogenic diet. This is a diet high in healthy fats, moderate in lean proteins and low in carbohydrates. If you are overweight, you should concentrate on reducing the number of calories you eat each day.
Additionally, you should get more exercise. If you are already at a healthy weight, you should work to maintain it. You can do this by eating a healthy plant-based diet and exercising. If possible, you should try to exercise most days of the week.
Also, it is beneficial to take nutritional support supplements that will specifically support your liver. A supplement with the following ingredients will help you the most. These supplements will not only help prevent but will reverse fatty liver disease as well.
There is actually a product that combines all of these ingredients in our store. If you would like to see it, just click the link.
Now that you have some information on how to prevent fatty liver disease, we will discuss possible ways to reverse it.
How To Reverse Fatty Liver Disease
Generally, the first treatment that is suggested for fatty liver is weight loss. Weight loss through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise is the most popular. Losing weight addresses the conditions that contribute to NAFLD. Most doctors find that a loss of 10% of body weight is desirable. However, improvement in risk factors will show if you lose only 5% of your starting weight. (2) Another option is weight-loss surgery. This is only for those who need to lose a lot of weight.
You can take control of your nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. You can:(3)
- Lose Weight
- Choose a Healthy Diet
- Exercise and Be Active
- Control Your Diabetes
- Lower Your Cholesterol
- Protect Your Liver
- Nutritional Support Supplements
As we stated earlier, if you’re overweight, you will want to reduce your consumption of calories every day. Additionally, you should increase your physical activity. This should help you lose weight. In fact, it has been said that calorie reduction is the key to making fatty liver disease manageable. Those of you who have previously tried to lose weight but could not, please consult your doctor. Keep eating healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Also, make sure to log all of the calories you eat every day. Then aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day as well. (2)
If you don’t exercise currently, then you should consult with your primary care physician first. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Also, make sure to take all of your medications as indicated and keep your blood sugar monitored. All of these tips should help you keep your cholesterol and triglycerides at a safe level. This will help with fatty liver disease to stay controlled. Additionally, you should avoid anything that puts stress on your liver. For example, if you have fatty liver disease, you should not drink alcohol. (2) This next section will go more into specific instructions on what to decrease.
What To Decrease
You should avoid many different types of food if you have a fatty liver. Those would be foods such as:
- Added Sugar
- Vegetable Shortening
- Packaged Snacks
- Processed Baked Goods (bread, bagels, pizza)
- Fried Foods
- Coffee Creamers
- Hydrogenated Oils
- White Bread, Rice, and Pasta
- Red Meat
You should stay away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, sodas, and fruit juices. The reason for this is because high blood sugar will increase fat deposits in the liver.
Foods with hydrogenated oils in them should be avoided. These are oils such as cottonseed oil, corn oil, and soybean oil. The problem with these fats is that they increase inflammatory responses as well as make the fatty liver condition worse. So we want to avoid those bad fats when we want to reverse fatty liver disease.
Toxins can come in many forms. The best thing that we can do is reduce all of the toxins in our homes. These are toxins such as cleaning chemicals. We can use more natural ingredients to clean our homes. Another important thing to do is to decrease toxins in our fruits and vegetables. You can do this by buying organic foods that do not have pesticides on them. So by decreasing toxins that we are exposed to, we can allow our livers to heal themselves. That way the liver can concentrate on healing and not have to remove toxins from our bodies.
Alcohol is a major cause of fatty liver disease as well as other liver diseases.
Alcohol is also a problem because the liver must prioritize the filtering of alcohol over everything else in your body. When you have a fatty liver it is best not to drink alcohol because this could make your condition even worse. (3) Many people believe that fatty liver is only caused by alcohol. However, all of the issues we discussed are major contributors when it comes to fatty liver. Alcohol is included in this group. But it is important to note that those who abstain from alcohol can develop fatty livers as well. Therefore, if you have liver issues and drink alcohol, you should stop. If you choose not to stop, your liver will not heal.
Consuming too much salt makes your body retain excess water. For this reason, you should limit sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams per day. White bread, rice, and pasta should be avoided because it is highly processed. Highly processed foods raise your blood sugar more than whole grains. This is because of the lack of fiber. (3) Red meat should be avoided because it is high in saturated fat.
Now that we know what we should avoid, we will discuss what to increase in your diet to help improve your fatty liver.
What To Increase
To help reverse fatty liver, you should increase:
- Natural Non-Inflammatory Foods
- Good Fats
Coffee is suggested because there have been many studies with fatty liver patients. These studies showed that patients who consumed more than 2 cups per day had less liver damage than those with no coffee. Recent findings suggest that coffee may contain certain compounds that may play a role in fighting inflammation.
Natural non-inflammatory foods are suggested to reduce fatty liver as well. Some examples of these would be:
These non-inflammatory foods improve the condition because much of the disease is brought on by inflammation. Additionally, the following vegetables are beneficial to those with fatty liver disease.
- Collard Greens
- Brussel Sprouts
Kale is both helpful for detoxifying the body and keeping the liver healthy. Eating the greens on the list above can help to alleviate the symptoms of liver conditions. (4)
Vitamin B1, B2, and B3 are also very important for improving liver disease. This is because all B vitamins are water-soluble. They help to convert carbohydrates, fats, and protein into energy.
B vitamins are crucial for keeping the liver healthy.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may also help protect the liver. It does this by reducing the damage caused by inflammation. (4)
Good fats are also beneficial for fatty liver disease. This is because certain fats help improve your ability to use insulin. That way your liver doesn’t need to make and store fat. Examples of good fats are:
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in food sources such as fish, fish oil, vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseed oil, and leafy veggies. Additionally, you can have monounsaturated fats like olives, nuts, and avocados. (5) MCT powder and oils are medium-chain triglycerides. They help decrease fatty liver disease as well.
Furthermore, the antioxidant glutathione is very beneficial for those with fatty livers. This is because a deficiency of antioxidants in the liver can cause cell death. Cell death can lead to fatty liver disease. Therefore, if you consume antioxidants such as glutathione, you will be protecting yourself against fatty liver disease. Additionally, glutathione improves protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in patients with fatty liver disease. This has been researched in many studies. (6), ( 7)
Hopefully, now you know more about fatty liver disease and how to reverse it. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments below.