Lifestyle health Diet
Spurt in cases of hepatitis associated with fatty liver: Here are 5 foods to cleanse your liver naturally  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Lifestyle health Diet Key Highlights
- Having too much fat in your liver can become problematic
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an excessive accumulation of fat in liver cells, and can invite hepatitis
- NAFLD is diagnosed incidentally in early disease or with signs of liver cell failure in advanced liver disease
New Delhi: The number of people suffering from hepatitis due to fatty liver, also called hepatic steatosis, is increasing at an alarming rate. Fatty liver means having too much extra fat in the liver. The two major types of fatty liver disease are alcohol-induced and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When fatty liver develops in someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, it is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Regardless of the type, making dietary changes, regular exercise, losing weight can help manage fatty liver disease and keep liver problems such as hepatitis at bay.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can result from a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and insulin resistance. It can also lead to hepatitis (an inflammatory condition of the liver that can be fatal), and can permanently damage one’s liver, warned health experts. A report published in the Journal Of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology showed that India has 25 million patients with NAFLD who may be at risk for significant liver disease. The prevalence of metabolic risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc, is rapidly increasing in the country, putting this population at risk for NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: The new silent killer that leads to hepatitis and other liver problems
NAFLD is known as the silent killer because it often displays no symptoms until the liver is damaged beyond repair. Some people may experience signs such as tiredness and pain in the upper right side of the belly.
“The disease is genetic and a part of the metabolic syndrome which tends to include patients who are overweight, diabetic, have hypertension, heart disease, cholesterol problems, and thyroid. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease causes hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, or liver cancer, ” said Dr Keyur Sheth, Gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra, Mumbai.
Therefore, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing NAFLD.
According to Dr Roy Patankar, leading Gastroenterologist & Director of Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Mumbai, fatty liver is the new silent killer, new epidemic hitting developed societies. He said NAFLD is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver transplant in the western world mainly owing to obesity and poor lifestyles.
“Every fatty liver seen on sonography is not worrisome but any with accompanying abnormalities in liver function tests must be addressed seriously to avoid complications,” he said, adding that following a multi-disciplinary approach is the need of the hour.
Treatment and lifestyle tips for NAFLD
The first line of treatment is healthy lifestyle modifications. These include:
- Eating a nutritious diet – opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
- Limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates, sweets, trans fats, and alcohol.
- Regular exercise.
- Losing weight to help reduce fat, inflammation and scarring in the liver.
- Manage your blood sugar, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol levels.
Also, there are a few drugs that can be administered to NAFLD patients in order to prevent hepatitis and scarring of the liver.
Foods that are good for fatty liver disease
Whether or not, you have fatty liver disease, adding these foods to your diet will help you keep your liver healthy:
- Garlic: Research suggests that garlic can be beneficial for fatty liver disease. For instance, a 2016 study showed that garlic powder supplements appear to reduce body weight and fat in people with fatty liver. Hailed as a wonder drug for centuries, garlic has been used to treat a range of ailments, including cough and cold, high cholesterol, etc.
- Greens: Eating green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale and brussels sprouts, etc, has been linked to better weight loss. Studies in mice showed that broccoli can help prevent the buildup of fat in the liver.
- Coffee: Drinking coffee may offer major benefits for people with the fatty liver as it can help reduce the amount of fat accumulation in the liver. Studies in people with fatty liver disease suggest that coffee drinkers have less liver damage than those who do not drink this popular beverage.
- Green tea: Green tea is a healthy beverage that has been associated with improved weight loss. The beverage contains several antioxidants, including catechins, which may help with fatty liver disease. While more research is required to determine if green tea can reduce the storage of fat in the liver and boost liver function, studies have shown that it may help improve health in numerous ways, including reducing fat in the blood and throughout the body.
- Walnuts: Nuts are among the healthiest foods on the planet. Tree nuts such as walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve liver fat levels and reduce inflammation. A 2015 review reported that walnuts improved liver function test results in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
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