Fatty liver!! One Indian out of 3 is having Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease! Approximately 38% indian are suffering from NAFLD (Non alcoholic fatty liver disease).
What is fatty liver means?
As its name describes, Extra fats building and depositing in liver is called,fatty liver. Though a limited quantity of fat is required in liver and it is absolutely normal but in case the total weight of fat is higher than 5 percent of liver weight then it is called fatty liver.
Types of fatty liver There are two main types
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Alcoholic fatty liver disease or alcoholic steatohepatitis
Alcoholic fatty liver: Drinking large amounts of alcohol, even for a few days can lead to increased fat buildup in the liver. The liver is where all the alcohol we consume is metabolized, hence maximum damage happens here. It is the 1st stage of liver damage caused by alcohol.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver: NAFLD is a type of fatty liver disease that is not related to heavy alcohol use. In NAFLD you got excess fat in liver even if you do not consume alcohol. In this case you may not feel any inflammation or liver damage. recently this condition renamed as metabolic-dysfunction related fatty liver disease.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: (NASH) The severe form of NAFLD is called NASH or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in which there is fat deposition, inflammation as well as scarring in the liver.
risk factors for NAFLD
A high waist to hip ratio Ideal- for Men: ≤0.90 For women: ≤0.85
Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes, high lipid levels, hypothyroidism, high uric acid)
Other risk factors
Consumption of processed foods
Erratic Sleep Schedule
Heavy metal toxicity like mercury&lead are surprisingly common.
If you have 3 or more, of the above causes, you may be at risk. Get ur blood work done as well as a sonography along with Fibroscan Blood tests
Why has it become so common?
The reason is our sedentary lifestyle. Our food is more processed. Sleep schedules r not in sync with circadian rhythm,&we are putting in more toxins through pollution, food additive , coupled with prevalence of IR, type 2 diabetes, obesity
Dietary and lifestyle changes to manage fatty liver
Eliminate/avoid Sugar-sweetened beverages and fructose-containing processed foods. For example: sauces& condiments, fruit juices, cold drink, packaged sweets- cup cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, chocolates.
Sugar is one of the major reason for fat production in liver. It make an internal process which is called lipogenesis, Lipogenesis is body’s normal response to sugar. Fructose, sugar that heads directly to liver, actually ramps up lipogenesis.
Excess sugar and starch creates more serious problems including high triglycerides, low HDL, and high amounts of small LDL cholesterol .
So, reduce your fructose intake – avoid fruit platters, fruit juices (even if it’s home made without sugar).
Restrict the number of fruit to 1-2 small fruit/day.
Eliminate all high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Maintain a Healthy Weight If you’re overweight or obese,try to reduce your weight in a healthy way. Losing even a small percentage of your body weight can significantly reduce fat in the liver. Depending on your level of fatty liver recommendations could be 3-5%/as much as 10%
Keep diabetes, hypertension,& hyperlipidemia under control, get regular checkups&use medication, if required A combination of diabetes, hypertension & dyslipidemia can contribute towards fatty liver, so managing the blood sugar, triglyceride&HDL level would be very important!
A calorie deficit,Low carb, high protein and high fat diet balanced with good amount of vegetables – is mainstay in managing fatty liver. When you go low-carb, you also need to make sure that you balance it out with quality proteins and fats.
Add healthy fats Avoid hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils, soyabean oil. Instead of these refined oils u can use healthier cooking option like cold pressed coconut oil, mustard oil, ghee&olive oil Fatty fish rich in omega 3 fatty acid – sardine,mackerel,salmon can be included
Eat more fibre Increasing fibre intake improves the gut microbiota, which reduces liver damage and inflammation. Fibre-rich meals also help with portion control, thereby supporting healthy fat loss.
Avoid refined flour products Refined flour foods-croissants, khari, rusk, breads, biscuits, cakes. They cause spike in blood glucose levels, leading to increased fat buildup in the liver Include Garlic, it contains a compound-Allicin that reduces inflammation in the liver
Black coffee, black and green tea are excellent for the liver since they contain antioxidants & polyphenols. Coffee intake has been shown to reduce fatty liver disease. Ideally, it is black coffee, no sugar, no milk, a minimum of 2 cups/day, complete intake before late evening
Exercise: Routine daily exercise improves insulin resistance and reduces fatty liver. Start with something as simple as walking for 30min/day. Exercise that has benefits on fatty liver – aerobic exercise, resistance training & high- intensity interval training
Sleep: Quality sleep is imp for body to repair. 7-8hrs of sleep is imp to allow the cells to regenerate &heal.Toxins produced by the liver r then effectively removed. Poor sleep has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance& inflammation factors thay can exacerbate NAFLD
Manage Stress: stress can have significant impact on liver health.when we experience stress,body releases stress hormone-cortisol which can effect liver function Cortisol release may be linked to insulin resistance,which could the amount of fat stored in the liver cells