The liver is an organ about the size of a football that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances. Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as obesity, inflammation, viruses and alcohol use.
Fatty liver is becoming increasingly common in most parts of the world, affecting approximately 25% of all people globally!
It is linked to health disorders characterized by insulin resistance, such as, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Fatty Liver occurs when too much fat builds up in liver cells. Although it is normal to have a tiny amount of fat in these cells, the liver is considered fatty if more than 5% of it is fat.
While drinking too much alcohol can lead to fatty liver, in many cases it does not play a role. A number of fatty liver conditions fall under the broad category of non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), and NAFLD is the most common liver disease in adults and children in Western countries.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver is the initial, reversible stage of liver disease. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed. Over time, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may lead to a more serious condition known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Steatohepatitis is a type of fatty liver disease, characterized by inflammation of the liver concurrent with fat accumulation in the liver.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis involves greater fat accumulation and inflammation that damages the liver cells. This can lead to fibrosis, or scar tissue, as liver cells are repeatedly injured and die off.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict whether fatty liver will progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which greatly increases the risk of cirrhosis (severe scarring that impairs the liver function) and liver cancer. It is imperative to get an early diagnosis and initiate a treatment program as early as possible.
WHAT CAUSED FATTY LIVER?
There are several factors that may cause or contribute to developing fatty liver:
* OBESITY: Obesity involves low-grade inflammation that may promote liver fat storage. It is estimated that 30-90% of obese adults have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and it’s increasing rapidly in children due to the obesity and Type 2 Diabetic epidemic. 80% of all North Americans have some form of metabolic disorder.
* EXCESS BELLY FAT: Normal weight people also may develop fatty liver if they are “viscerally obese” meaning they carry too much fat around their waist.
* INSULIN RESISTANCE: Insulin resistance and high insulin levels have been shown to increase liver fat storage in people with Type 2 Diabetes and any form of metabolic syndrome.
* HIGH INTAKE OF REFINED CARBS: Frequent intake of refined carbs promotes liver fat storage, especially when high amounts are consumed by overweight or insulin resistant individuals.
* SUGARY BEVERAGE CONSUMPTION: Sugar sweetened beverages like soda and energy drinks are high in fructose, which has been shown to drive liver fat accumulation in children and adults.
* IMPAIRED GUT HEALTH: Recent research suggests that having an imbalance of gut bacteria, problems with gut barrier function (leaky gut) or other gut health issues may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver development.
BOTTOM LINE: Fatty liver may cause subtle symptoms or major symptoms. It can often be detected by a blood test which needs to be done if you have any of the above symptoms.
DIETARY STRATEGIES FOR GETTING RID OF FATTY LIVER
There are several things you can do to get rid of fatty liver, including losing weight and cutting back on simple carbs. What’s more, there are high quality nutraceuticals available that attack the major causes of fatty liver and the metabolic health issues that are a part of it.
Qgenics has available natural, plant-based nutraceuticals that can help you lose weight, dampen down the underlying inflammation and promote gut health.