Do you find term ‘fatty liver’ intimidating? Are you or anyone among your family or friends suffering from fatty liver? Are you turning anxious thinking whether a fatty liver is a serious condition or not? Get answers to your questions by reading this post below.
Fortunately, fatty liver has become a common condition these days. According to the latest health update (of the year 2017), it was estimated that about 1 in every 10 individuals in India have an excess of fat in his liver. It was also found that about 1 in 15 people suffer from various grades of fatty liver disease, the most common being fatty liver grade 1. Speaking retrospectively, the prefix ‘fortunate’ was used by me to ease you all readers out there and the incidence rate justifies this adjective. Now you know you are not the only one suffering!
Fatty liver is a condition where there is an excessive collection of abnormal fat inside the cells of the liver. The liver is a storage house of various nutrients required to nourish the body. It is also responsible to carry out various functions including the ‘fat metabolism’, which involves the breakdown or storage of the fats for energy consumption. A normal amount of fat is essential for the body to carry out smooth body functioning, but the problem starts when there is a disturbance in breaking down or synthesizing the fats (or fat-like substances – lipids) in the body.
Nowadays, fatty liver has become a condition that is so commonly hovering over the internet. It has taken a toll on many individuals so much so that they become perturbed and keep on worrying unnecessarily. Well, for all those who are worried and have turned anxious about developing a fatty liver, the good news is that it is normal to have a fatty liver in most of the cases when found in an ultrasound. Many individuals, these days, go for regular health check-ups, undergo annual corporate health analysis where the fatty liver is accidentally diagnosed. Since fatty liver, in the initial few stages, does not show any significant symptoms, it is often diagnosed accidentally when one goes for a routine check-up or undergoes an ultrasound test for some other ailment. An ultrasound is the most sensitive indicator to detect the grades of fatty liver as compared to a blood test (liver function tests). However, the elevated levels of liver enzymes might give you a fair idea about some disturbance in the liver, which can be later confirmed through an abdominal sonography.
Many individuals have misunderstood the fatty liver disease. Indeed, your concern might be obvious. Well, talking about the seriousness of the fatty liver, it gets harmful when the pathology progresses in the form of liver inflammation, which, if not treated, can further lead to liver scarring, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. There are certain risk factors, which may make fatty liver a grave condition, which I would like to highlight;
- Hyperlipidemia (High levels of cholesterol in the blood) or hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides in the blood)
- Alcohol intake
- Individuals who have lost weight rapidly
- Familial tendencies (a strong genetic history of liver disease)
- Individuals who are on immunosuppressant medications
- Hepatitis C
As the name suggests, people who consume a high-fat diet are prone to develop a fatty liver. But, individuals who consume a high sugar diet are also at a significant risk of developing this condition. No sooner you consume sugar than it switches on the fat production in your liver through a process called lipogenesis (lipo- fat, genesis- production). Fructose, a type of simple sugar found in processed foods like canned juice and soft drinks like soda, candy, and bread, is the most inimical sugar for the liver. It kick-starts the process of lipogenesis quickly into the liver, compared to the other forms of sugar. Hence, for those foodies out there who consume junk food frequently, mind well! Get your liver checked, as you are at a risk developing a liver disease. Another major culprit for the development of fatty liver, after sugar, is starch. A dominant consumption of starch in your diet on a daily basis can increase your risk for developing fatty liver. It elevates the triglycerides in the blood, lowering the HDL (high-density lipoprotein – good cholesterol) and increasing the LDL (low-density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol). This also puts you to the risk for developing a heart disease.
Now that you have understood the dietary factors which may trigger off this condition, you might as well ask whether I should consume fats or not. If yes, then which fats are good for your liver. Including fats in your diet is quite important, since it constitutes a balanced diet. Saturated fats should be consumed on a regular basis than the unsaturated ones. Eating saturated fats lowers inflammation, especially when you consume it with a low carbohydrate, high fiber, and omega 3 fatty acid rich diets. Foods like milk, butter, cheese, cream, palm oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado are rich in saturated fats. But, certain forms of meat and poultry have even more concentrated form of saturated fats.
The next important question that may now boggle your mind must be, “Now that I have been diagnosed having this condition, is it reversible or not?”. Well, this is a relevant question because now you know how important the liver is to you. Grade 1 fatty liver is usually reversible. You probably do not need medical attention for this condition. A customized diet suiting your needs with lifestyle modifications usually suffice, and following it regularly will get the job done. Grade 2 and grade 3 fatty livers, which are accompanied with a moderate to severe hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver) along with symptoms like abdominal discomfort, poor appetite, generalized weakness etc., definitely need the medical help. These conditions are controllable and treatable to some extent. However, one can get rid of the symptoms.
You should seek an expert medical advice immediately, once diagnosed with grade 1 or grade 2 fatty liver. Homeopathy comes to your rescue in treating this condition. Though you need to go through a long-term treatment, it is a definite and safe solution to treat you at this stage. Through a regular treatment along with a proper diet, regimen, and lifestyle changes some individuals are fortunate enough to get out of this condition completely. However, when each case of fatty liver is different, homeopathy treats every patient individualistically by considering the cause, genetic factors, physical constitution, dietary patterns, the nature of work, etc. before deciding the treatment plan. There are medicines that prove effective for fatty liver treatment since they reduce inflammation and improve the overall liver functioning. The treatment gets more effective if you start off early.
If you find this blog useful and if you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, do let us know in the section below. We would be happy to help you if you have any queries related to this liver condition. Get in touch with Dr. Rajesh Shah’s associate doctors at Life Force Homeopathy. You may also write to us at email@example.com or give us a call at +91-22-66888888.
– Written by Kanchan, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah