Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Hepatic steatosis, popularly known as fatty liver, consists of an accumulation of triglycerides in the liver. The organ increases in size and fat droplets appear throughout the liver tissue, which can be seen with the naked eye.

The condition occurs, especially after an excessive consumption of alcohol; this anomaly has even been observed in 90% of individuals with chronic alcoholism. However, there is also nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, and in this case the condition is not related to alcohol consumption and may appear in abstemious patients or without a history of significant alcohol consumption.

It is the most frequent cause of chronic liver disease in the developed world. Its incidence has been increasing due to the greater number of people with obesity and diabetes, as well as the greater use of abdominal ultrasound in the health field in the routine study of transaminase elevation. Prevalence is estimated around 25-30% of the population.

If we look at its relationship with obesity, in individuals with a normal body mass index, hepatic steatosis occurs in about one in 10, while in individuals with a BMI (body mass index) in the range of obesity, its prevalence is around 80%.

Currently, it is said that this liver disorder is the clinical expression of the metabolic syndrome in the liver. It can also occur in children, also interacting with 50% of obese children.

Is Fatty Liver Reversible?

Yes, there are effective strategies to prevent and reverse the fatty liver. Here are some of them, which at the time of diagnosis must be adapted not only as a therapeutic medicine but as a modification of habits for the future.

Eliminate high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS or high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in salad dressings, tomato sauce, crackers, peanut butter, etc.) from the diet.

Eliminate the refined and processed flours, even the integral flours can be indicated, this depends on the stage of the disease, which also becomes sugar once absorbed by the body.

  • Eat healthy fats: Functional medicine is simple: To heal your body you must remove the bad and introduce the good. Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet such as low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein of animal origin, healthy oils such as olive, macadamia, avocado, coconut oil, butter (not margarine) and fish oil.
  • Improve your metabolism with an exercise routine: Exercise improves resistance to insulin; it must be practiced at least 30 minutes a day, and ideally the exercise should be of high intensity intervals, as well as lifting weights because it is the most effective for burning fats.
  • Recommended supplements: Among them are milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine and glutathione, they are excellent antioxidants for the liver, which improve their ability to eliminate some toxins and help sweep free radicals that ultimately are the ones produced by the cellular damage. Other nutrients recommended are the complex B vitamins and magnesium.

The food of the cruciferous group (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale, and cabbage) has a very special antioxidant called sulforaphane which also has a potential against cancer. Garlic and onions are foods rich in sulfur, which also helps to detoxify the liver.

  • Do not forget the protein: The protein in all food, especially breakfast is of vital importance, since it is the basis for balancing sugar and insulin, controlling anxiety and helping the liver to its ability to detoxify the body in the most effective way, which requires many components that are essential. You can include eggs or a breakfast protein shake, nuts or good quality meat to your daily diet.

Remember that we need a healthy liver to protect our body from toxins acquired through food or the environment. A healthy liver ensures health and energy for a long time.

Conclusion

Barring complications, it is a benign and reversible process that, with proper treatment, does not cause liver damage. It can present as a simple deposit of fat in the liver but can progress to cirrhosis and liver carcinoma in some cases. In fact, in cirrhosis of unknown cause, it is postulated as a hidden cause of these conditions.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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