Fatty liver, which is also called hepatic steatosis, is when, excessive fat gets stored in your liver. This problem has become one of the most common problems faced by people today. This article aims to clear your doubts about this problem and also suggests certain ways to rectify this disease.
So, sit back, relax and try to comprehend this article so that you can gain the maximum benefit out of it.
It is common knowledge that liver is the second largest organ of the body and helps to process and filter the harmful substances in our body.
Due to the presence of excessive fat in the liver, the basic function of the liver is disrupted leading to many disorders to the person.
The concept of fatty liver comes up when fat, in your liver, weighs up to 5-10% or more of your total liver weight. The liver usually repairs itself by rebuilding new cells inside it.
Yet, due to the presence of fat inside the liver, it leads to permanent scarring which leads to a condition called cirrhosis.
Symptoms Of Fatty Liver
Due to the risks which a fatty liver pose, it is beneficial if this problem is caught in its initial phases. Even though there aren’t many symptoms of this problem, the usual ones are mentioned below:
- Excessive sleep pattern wherein a person feels drowsy and sleepy almost all the time.
- Excessive fatigue and laziness are experienced by the person throughout the day
- Obesity, wherein the person tends to gain weight by a whooping amount.
- At times, this problem could be hereditary and related to genetics. So if this problem runs in your family you have to be careful.
Types Of Fatty Liver
There are two types of the fatty liver disease and they are enumerated below in detail:
1. Alcoholic Liver Disease:
This is caused due to excessive drinking of alcohol and may show up after a short period of too much drinking. The things which affect your chance of getting this particular type of disease are:
a) Hepatitis C which also leads to inflammation of the liver
c) Genetics: if your predecessors have been heavy drinkers then the same genes might pass down to you making you prone to this disease
d) Excessive iron in the body.
2. Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease:
This disease tends to run in the family and usually happens to those who are middle-aged or obese. Other causes of this type of disease could be:
a) Excessive medications
b) Viral Hepatitis
e) Bacteria in small intestines.
This particular disease is considered to be a bit benign, yet, in certain instances, it may even lead to cirrhosis.
3. Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis:
As per this type of fatty liver, your liver tends to swell up due to the presence of a lot of fat in the liver. This particular disease can even further impair liver function. Certain symptoms of this disease include:
a) appetite loss
b) abdominal pain
c) vomiting and nausea
If this disease is ignored for long then it may lead to a permanent scarring of the liver and also a permanent liver failure.
4. Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy:
This type of fatty liver disease is found in women who are pregnant. Here, there is severe abdominal pain, jaundice and persistent nausea. However, usually after pregnancy, this situation tends to fade away and things return back to normal.
Grades Of Fatty Liver
The fatty liver disease also depends upon the density of the aggravated problem. As per the density also this disease has been divided into 3 parts which are:
Here, the fat accumulation occurs around the outside surface of the liver. It does not interfere with the functions of the organ at all. Here, it will also be fine if you do not visit a doctor, simple changes in the lifestyle can also solve this problem.
2. Grade 2-
This is considered a moderately severe form problem it does warrant medical care or adherence to some other natural remedies.
3. Grade 3-
This is a severe state wherein the fat percentage in the liver is way beyond 10%. It is at this stage that symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and nausea are experienced by the person affected.
Causes Of Fatty Liver Disease
The causes of a fatty liver are considered vague and have not been clarified yet. However, the major causes which are believed to cause a fatty liver are:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Obesity or Overweight body or presence of excessive triglycerides in the blood.
- Insulin resistance in your body
- High blood sugar which is also called hyperglycaemia which basically indicates pre-diabetes.
- Pregnancy in case of women
- High cholesterol due to more intake of fatty products
- Excessive dosage of medications such as Tylenol.
The above mentioned are some common causes of this particular disease yet it is strictly mentioned that there may be other causes as well. Certain internal problems in the body may also lead to a fatty liver. They are called concealed causes.
Thus, it is advised that you should get your full body check up done so that internal issues of the body can be detected in advance.
Diagnosis Of The Fatty Liver Disease
There are merely four to five ways on the diagnosis of this disease and this problem can be easily diagnosed by the following ways:
1. Physical Exam:
By examining the abdominal region, the doctor can ascertain whether you have an inflamed liver or not. Yet, some symptoms, such as fatigue and laziness will have to affirmed by you to confirm that the problem you have is a fatty liver disease.
2. Blood Test:
If a physical examination doesn’t help then blood test always does the trick. If triglycerides increase in your body, it may be a case of a fatty liver. Yet, there still is no surety which will prove that you have this particular disease.
3. Studying Images:
As per this diagnosis, your doctor will detect the disease of fatty liver by studying images like ultrasound or MRI scans. If there is fat in your liver, it will show up as a white spot in your liver. There are other images like Fibroscan, wherein the sound waves help to determine the density of the liver.
Further, it helps the doctor determine whether the person is suffering from this disease or not. However, though studying images, the doctor will only be able to detect the disease, but won’t be able to tell the severity of the problem.
4. Liver Biopsy:
This is the last option available to detect this problem. As per this diagnosis, the doctor will insert a needle into the liver to take out a liver tissue for examination. While this process happens you will be under the influence of a general anaesthesia.
The biopsy will also help the doctor determine the aggravation caused in the liver due to the fat stored.
Natural Remedies To Reverse The Fatty Liver Disease
This particular disease is not considered to be a permanent form of the disease and can be reversed in 90% cases. There are various natural remedies to reverse the problem of a fatty liver. These remedies are followed thoroughly as they are simple and give relief to the person instantly:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar:
This is considered the best remedy for a fatty liver. It helps to remove the fat accumulation in the liver quickly and also helps to solve the issue of liver inflammation.
How to consume Apple Cider Vinegar?
a) Add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
b) Optionally, add a little honey.
c) Drink it 2 times daily, before your meals.
d) Follow this remedy for a few months.
Lemon has high doses of Vitamin C which act as an antioxidant and helps to produce an enzyme called glutathione. This enzyme helps to neutralize toxins, thereby helping the liver to detoxify itself.
How To Consume Lemon To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
Squeeze the juice of ½ lemons into a glass of water. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for several weeks. Alternatively, add 2 to 3 chopped lemons to a jar of water. Drink this water at regular intervals.
3. Green Tea:
It has a high density of catechins which helps to improve the liver function and removes the fat stored in the liver. Also, it helps to reduce the fat percentage in the body. Green tea should be consumed at least 3-4 times a day to completely remove fat from the body.
How To Consume Green Tea To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
Drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea every day to get rid of fatty liver disease and protect your liver. Green tea is also available as an extract in liquid and capsules. Consult your doctor before taking supplements.
This also acts as an invaluable anti-oxidant and helps to reduce the fat content in the liver. Turmeric powder mixed with a tinge of cinnamon powder and warm water will help people suffering from this problem.
How To Consume Turmeric To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 to 2 glasses of water and boil it. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks or you can also mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink it once daily. Please take note that turmeric supplements are available as capsules and tinctures. Talk to your doctor to determine the proper dosage for your condition.
The herb dandelion is also a very useful herb as it helps to mobilize the fats accumulated in the liver and reduce fat content in the liver. A dandelion root infused in water for 3 minutes should be ingested as a type of herbal tea for 3 times a day.
How To Consume Dandelion To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
a) Add 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion root to a cup of hot water.
b) Cover and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, add a little honey to taste and drink it.
c) Drink 3 cups of this herbal tea daily for a few weeks. You can also add fresh tender dandelion leaves to salads, or eat cooked dandelion leaves as a side dish. However, please take not that you should avoid this remedy if you are diabetic or pregnant.
As per Ayurveda, both papaya seeds and the fruit papaya are extremely beneficial in solving the problem of a fatty liver. Moreover, it helps to burn the fatty acids present in the body and provides a lot of heat to the body.
How To Consume Papaya To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
You can follow either or all of the below-mentioned ways:
a) Grind 5 to 6 dried papaya seeds and mix the powder with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Take this 2 times a day for 1 month.
b) Eat a slice of ripe papaya with honey once daily.
c) Include raw papaya soup and salad in your diet.
7. Amla Or Indian Gooseberry:
This fruit helps the body to reduce the high cholesterol level due to the presence of vitamin C. Also it helps the body to get rid of the excessive toxins present in the body.
How To Consume Amla To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
You can eat 3 to 4 raw amla daily or include the fruit in your cooking. Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of amla powder in a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily.
8. Dietary Changes:
Following a healthy and plant-based diet can help you to tackle the problem of a fatty liver. Even though it may take a little while to adapt to the changes, however, they will help immensely.
How To Make Dietary Changes?
a) Avoid all types of high fructose corn syrup.
b) Steer clear of white flour and include whole-grain products in your diet.
c) Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish, fish oils, flaxseed, walnuts, and tofu.
d) Eat detoxifying and liver-repairing super foods such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. While cooking, lightly steam your vegetables to r their nutritional value.
e) Eat more fibre-rich fruits like apple, guava, blueberries, and so on. Yet, eat fruits in excess as most fruits are high in sugar.
f) Avoid spicy and fried foods and fatty meats. Include more plant-based foods in your diet.
Licorice helps to prevent liver damage which happens due to excessive fat or toxins stored up in it. Due to the amazing qualities it posses, it helps to reduce inflammation in the liver and prevent scarring as well.
How To Consume Licorice To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
a) Add ½ teaspoon of licorice root to a cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, add a little honey and drink this tea 2 times a day.
b) Alternatively, mix together 1 tablespoon of licorice powder and 2 teaspoons of honey and have this once daily for several weeks.
c) If taking licorice supplements, consult your doctor first as they may interfere with certain blood pressure, diabetes and corticosteroid medications.
Ginger helps to support a healthy digestive tract by hastening the elimination of toxins in the liver. Its juice is considered to have healing benefits.
How To Consume Ginger To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
a) Add ½ spoon ginger juice in a salad or a smoothie. This is the trending drink which is recommended by dieticians all over.
b) You could also add ginger slices, chopped finely, in green tea or normal boiling water. You should have this every day in the morning.
11. Sweet Potatoes:
They have high potassium content and therefore aid in cleansing the liver. It is also rich in Vitamin B, C and magnesium. As they are naturally sweet, you will enjoy it also.
How To Consume Sweet Potatoes To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
You can consume sweet potatoes in a lot of healthy ways. You could either boil it or bake it. And enjoy the dish along with a little salt and lemon juice squeezed on it.
They are a great source of vitamins and minerals and help provide strength to the body to fight the harmful bacteria present inside the body. It further helps to reduce inflammation in the liver area.
How To Consume Bananas To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
There is no particular way to consume bananas. Either you can have one-two every day as a natural fruit or you could have them as a smoothie or even as a cake which are trending nowadays.
13. Black Seed Oil:
This speeds up the healing process of a fatty liver. It helps to reduce complications in the liver thereby reducing the extra fat which gets stored up in the liver.
How To Consume Black Seed Oil To Reverse A Fatty Liver?
a) Mix a teaspoon (5ml) of Virgin Black Seed oil with a cup of yogurt.
b) Drink the mixture twice a day for three days.
c) Rub the chest with Black Seed oil, drink a teaspoon (5ml) of Virgin Black Seed oil morning, noon, & night, and inhale the vapor of Black Seed oil mixed into hot water.
Exercises And Asanas For Reversing The Fatty Liver Disease
If you do not want to have all the above-mentioned herbs, there is an alternative way also to reverse this situation and that is exercise. Exercise helps you to reduce your fat and the triglycerides present in the body.
Many studies have established that the best exercise for a fatty liver is resistance training like aerobic exercise or yoga.
To reduce fat and increase flexibility in the body, yoga is suggested. It helps all the organs of the body and helps in unrestricted blood circulation. So yoga and resistance training are suggested. Other than these two, you can also try hitting the gym.
But, yogic exercises will be more effective than gym activities and weightlifting exercises. Some of the yogic asanas are mentioned here with:
1. Kapalbharti Pranayam:
Pranayam is a breathing exercise which helps to boost the liver strength. It also helps to stimulate the liver by treating all the liver-related problems with ease. It increases blood circulation in the area near the liver, thereby cutting down on the fat stored in the liver.
How To Follow Kapalbharti Pranayam?
a) It works best when you sit cross-legged on an even surface.
b) You need to inhale deeply and breathe out forcefully through your nostrils focusing on exhalation.
c) Practice this exercise at least for 15 minutes daily.
2. Ardha Matsyendhrasana:
This asana is also called the Fish Pose. It is beneficial for the liver as it puts pressure on the liver, thereby strengthening and stimulating bile production in the liver. It tries to reduce the inflammation and fats stored in the liver by a considerable amount.
How To Follow Ardha Matsyendhrasana?
a) This asana is performed by sitting cross-legged and crossing your left foot over the right one. b) Your knees should be raised above the surface and pointing upwards.
c) Move your right hand over your left leg and hold your left foot.
d) Next, press your left leg gently against your abdomen, turning your head to the right side at the same time.
This pose is also called the Bow Pose and works wonders for a damaged liver. By increasing bile production in the liver it helps to reduce the fat stored in the liver.
How To Follow Dhanurasana?
a) Lie on your stomach and raise your legs and torso at the same time.
b) Next, hold your feet with your hands, making your body look like a bow with your arms acting as the bow strings.
c) Try to remain in this pose for as long as you can.
d) Return to your resting position and repeat the exercise 4-5 times.
This pose is also called the Cow Faced Pose. If you are suffering from cirrhosis or a fatty liver, then this is the best asana to follow. It ensures extra oxygen and blood flow in the liver and the area around it. It also removes the toxic and pathogenic bacteria from the liver.
How To Follow Gomukhasana?
a) The first step to performing this exercise is to squat on the surface with one leg crossed over the other.
b) Allow your spine to stretch out.
c) Place your hands on your back with one over your shoulder and the other over your rib area.
d) Clasp your hands at the back and hold the pose.
Food Items To Be Taken While Suffering From A Fatty Liver
Apart from this, when you are suffering from a fatty liver disease you have to extremely careful about the food which you are ingesting. Some of the food items which you must consume while facing this disease are:
- Coffee: It helps to lower the abnormal liver enzymes of people who are suffering this problem. However, excessive intake of coffee also may prove to be harmful to health.
- Green vegetables to prevent fat from getting built up in the liver.
- Sunflower seeds: these are stressed quite often by doctors, as they tend to act as an anti-oxidant and help to mobilize fat from the liver.
- Fish: this helps to reduce inflammation in the body and the liver to produce its necessary juices for digestion.
- Milk and low-fat dairy products which help to lower the damage to the liver as they build up the protein in the body.
- Avocado: as it is rich in fibre and vitamins, it helps to protect the liver from the excessive fat stored up in the liver.
Food Items To Avoid While Suffering From A Fatty Liver Disease
However, on the flip side, there are certain products and food items which you should not consume at all when suffering from this problem. Some of the food items to avoid are mentioned below:
- Alcohol: As this is the basic cause of getting fat stored up in the liver.
- Added sugar: You need to stay away from food items with high sugar content like candies, pastries, cookies etc
- Fried products
- Red meat as they have high saturated fats.
- Excessive carbohydrates like bread, burgers, pizzas etc.
- Salt: As excessive intake of salt leads to water retention and even inflammation in the liver.
It is important for everyone suffering from this disease to understand that, there is no such cure for this particular disease. Yet, if you are under the treatment by a doctor or a specialist, they can help to lessen the inflammation or aggravation caused by the fat in the liver.
The problem of a fatty liver can be cured and reversed immediately for some people. Yet, there also have been instances wherein it has not been reversed and the person has have had to suffer from this problem all throughout his life. So it is imperative to be very careful while suffering from this disease.
While reading the article there might be some questions which may have erupted in your mind. So, as far as my experience goes, below mentioned answers solve all your questions about this disease:
1. How Long Does It Take To Reverse The Fatty Liver Disease?
There is no specific time frame within which a person, suffering from this disease can get cured. It completely depends on the immunity and capacity of every individual. There may even be chances that a person may not recover from this disease also.
2. Does Ayurveda Help To Manage This Disease?
Ayurveda can also help to solve inflammation and scarring of the liver due to the medicinal herbs it allows you to intake. Yet, complete dependence on Ayurveda is not recommended. Some amount of antibiotics should be consumed as the doctor prescribes.
3. How To Treat Children With This Problem?
Standardized care for the child and strict monitoring of weight-related problems amongst children is a must. Further, comprehensive dietary assessments should be conducted amongst children. As it will help to catch this disease at earlier stages amongst children.
Thus, if anyone of you is suffering from this disease, do take help from this article. It will help you solve the problem eventually, thereby providing relief to the affected person.