The liver, the largest organ in the human body, plays a crucial role in metabolizing meals and eliminating toxins. When excess fat accumulates in liver cells, it leads to fatty liver disease. Though a small amount of fat in the liver is normal, over 10% of liver weight being fat indicates a fatty liver. This condition can lead to liver damage despite often showing no symptoms.
Fatty liver disease can be categorized into:
Fatty liver occurs when the liver fails to metabolize body fats adequately, leading to fat buildup. It can also result from excessive alcohol intake, rapid weight loss, and medications such as diltiazem, amiodarone, tamoxifen, or steroids. Risk factors include obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Fatty liver often has no symptoms and is usually discovered during tests for other conditions. As it progresses, symptoms like weakness, fatigue, confusion, weight loss, and abdominal pain may appear.
Lose Extra Weight
Reducing 3-5% of body weight can decrease liver fat buildup, while a 7-10% reduction can alleviate other symptoms like inflammation and scarring. A gradual weight loss of 0.5 to 1 kg per week is recommended.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A Mediterranean diet can help reduce liver fat. This diet includes:
Daily exercise for at least 30 minutes can help prevent obesity and maintain healthy liver function.
Drinking water with squeezed lemon, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, can aid liver detoxification.
Avoid Added Sugar
High sugar intake, especially fructose, can exacerbate fatty liver disease. Avoid sugary soft drinks and processed foods.
Avoid Known Liver Irritants
Limit alcohol, over-the-counter medications, and certain supplements that can stress the liver.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, nuts, and seeds, can lower liver fat. Consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding apple cider vinegar to water can promote weight loss and reduce liver fat buildup.
Coffee, particularly black coffee, can protect against metabolic syndrome linked to fatty liver disease.
Eliminating alcohol is crucial, especially in alcoholic fatty liver disease. Consider treatment or support programs if necessary.
The best approach to managing fatty liver disease involves lifestyle and dietary changes. Reducing weight, exercising, limiting sugar intake, and drinking coffee can alleviate symptoms. It's essential to manage liver health, as excessive liver fat increases the risk of heart disease.