In order to maintain our health, we rely a great deal on the liver, one of our most vital organs. As a result, unless we make a conscious effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the liver can become damaged over time. A condition that can develop is called fatty liver—which is caused by the liver storing an excessive amount of fat in it.
The prevalence of liver disease is higher than most people realize. Approximately 4.5 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic liver disease. Fatty liver disease affects 80 to 100 million adults, many of whom don’t know they have it.
Fortunately, fatty liver can be controlled and treated by making healthy choices. In this article we are going to review healthy lifestyle choices which are the best fatty liver disease treatments.
What is Fatty Liver Disease?
A normal, healthy liver naturally stores some fat. Fat builds up in the liver of some people and leads to fatty liver disease, also called hepatic steatosis.
When you have fatty liver disease, it means that you have too much fat built up in your liver. A certain amount of fat is naturally stored in your liver. The problem arises when there is a lot of it, and over time, it can cause serious issues.
The most common causes of fatty liver disease are excessive drinking and unhealthy diets. The good news is that not only are there fatty liver disease treatments but it can also be reversed in its early stages.
Why Is the Liver Important?
Your liver is a vital organ. It plays a major role in digestion, metabolism, and many other vital bodily functions.
The liver is essential to your metabolism. It is the liver that processes fats and carbohydrates and converts them into energy. The liver also regulates blood sugar levels by removing or adding sugar to the blood as needed.
Additionally, your liver acts as a filter—it cleans your blood and removes toxins from it. The liver removes a lot of substances, including caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. The liver is also a gland. It produces hormones and proteins that different parts of our bodies need.
Developing fatty liver disease puts our health at risk because our liver cannot function properly. Thankfully, there are fatty liver disease treatments to get our liver back in top form.
What Are Some Fatty Liver Disease Treatments?
When we talk about fatty liver disease treatments, we are really referring to changes to our lifestyle to help our liver heal. This includes things like eating a healthy balanced diet, reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and engaging in regular physical activity. All of these things can help the liver to reduce fat deposits and heal itself.
It’s important to reiterate: fatty liver disease cannot be cured or treated with medicine.
However, with lifestyle changes, you can manage fatty liver, and slow the progression or even reverse it. Our livers are the only organs that can regenerate. This means that when caught early enough, liver disease can be reversed.
The best of the fatty liver disease treatments is to lose weight.
The liver gradually loses some of the fat it has accumulated when you lose weight. If you lose just 5% of your body weight, you will begin to see improvements in your health and liver disease. If you lose 10% of your body weight, you will see significant improvement in all aspects of fatty liver disease.
Managing your weight also goes hand-in-hand with controlling diabetes. Around 70% of people with type 2 diabetes are also diagnosed with fatty liver disease.
Losing weight helps you to have better control of your blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, you can even reverse your diabetes. Managing your diabetes properly reduces insulin resistance, which is a key factor in improving and reversing fatty liver disease.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another one of the key fatty liver disease treatments is to alter your diet. A plant-based diet can significantly improve the condition of your liver. This means a diet that is rich in whole and unprocessed organic fruits and vegetables. You’ll also want to avoid red meat, dairy, and sweets.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the best fatty liver disease treatments. With a focus on healthy fats, unprocessed foods, lean protein, and Omega-3s, it is the best diet to control and reverse fatty liver.
Following a plant-based diet can help improve your health in many ways, including:
- Managing your weight
- Managing type 2 diabetes
- Reducing high cholesterol
- Reducing high blood pressure
When you have numbers that are too high for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and your weight, they are either considered to be direct causes of fatty liver disease or are found in people who develop fatty liver.
Exercise is one of the best fatty liver disease treatments, because even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss, it significantly improves the health of your liver. Exercise can increase the body’s ability to metabolize fat, reducing the amount of fat stored in the liver. It also reduces inflammation in the body, which can help improve liver health.
Engage in moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week. Ideally, you should exercise 5 or more days per week to maximize your results.
Fatty liver disease is known to be caused by alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption increases the amount of fat that is stored in the liver, as well as damages the liver cells. This leads to inflammation and scarring, which can lead to cirrhosis and other complications.
A crucial one of the fatty liver disease treatments recommendations is to reduce fat levels in your liver by limiting how much you drink, or even stopping altogether.
Fatty Liver Disease Treatments to Heal Your Liver
The best fatty liver disease treatments are changes to your lifestyle. Make conscious choices about your diet and exercise to lose weight and prevent or manage diabetes. Improve your diet by choosing whole and unprocessed organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. Even better, consider a vegan diet for the best health outcomes.