Fatty Liver Disease

Has your doctor suggested you reduce alcohol?…but you don’t drink!

Blood tests may show that you have signs similar to those found in people who drink a lot of alcohol. A liver function test can show these signs even if you do not drink.  In fact these signs now are occurring more often in people who don’t drink or drink very little.  A modern day disease, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NALFD)  is the most common cause of liver disease in Australia. It can be found alongside such conditions as insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and often leads to cardiovascular disease.

The alarming statistics on who has NAFLD

  • 30% of all Australians
  • 40% of Australians over 60 years of age
  • 15% of men who are NOT overweight
  • 15% of school children

These statistics are very scary, is it time you checked in on your liver?

Simple ways to support your liver function

  1. Eliminate sugars particularly fructose Unlike glucose which we can use for energy, fructose is metabolised by the liver and causes the same type of damage to the liver as alcohol does. Fructose comes from fruits and in the form of 1 or 2 pieces of fresh fruit per day is okay, the problem comes when prepackaged foods we buy are sweetened with fructose, or drink fruit juices.
  2. Add more vegetables to your diet And reduce refined carbohydrates that turn to sugar in your body
  3. Not eating for 12 hours gives your body and liver a rest, but do eat at 12 hours as the benefits can be reversed with longer fasts. This can be as simple as eating at 7pm and not eating again until breakfast at 7am
  4. Exercise Aerobic exercise is beneficial for insulin resistance, but any exercise or weight loss will benefit fat concentrations in the liver
  5. Antioxidants Vit C and Vit E in particular help reduce the oxidative damage done to the liver
  6. Omega 3 Helps to reduce inflammation in the liver
  7. Multistrain probiotics Improve insulin resistance and lower total cholesterol

Herbal and nutritional assistance

There are a number of herbs which support liver function. Amongst them are St Mary’s Thistle, Dandelion Root, Schisandra, Globe Artichoke and Turmeric. Choosing the best herb combination will depend on your particular health history. A naturopath or herbalist is trained to be able to choose the herbs most suitable for you. This includes herbs which stand out to help reduce the scarring (fibrosis) of liver. In NAFLD, inflammation leads to scarring of the liver and loss of function. The level of liver fibrosis has required a biopsy in the past, but can now be estimated using routine blood test results. To find out how your liver is, make an appointment with Maria and bring along a copy of your latest full blood count and liver function results.