Have you ever heard of NAFLD?
There are two forms of NAFLD. One is fatty liver. It is not normal to have excess fat in the liver, but this in itself is thought to not damage the liver. The second is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). With NASH, there is inflammation and scarring to the liver. NASH is more serious and can lead to cirrhosis, which means the liver may stop working efficiently and a transplant would be needed.
There is continued research on what is causing NAFLD, but many individuals with it have diabetes, pre-diabetes (insulin resistance), are overweight or obese and have high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. The typical American diet often lacks in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and fiber.
NAFLD is very common, in fact it is thought that 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 adults have it, and about 1 in 10 children in the United States .
Based on information from the University of Michigan conference there are recommendations to work towards to help with fatty liver.
1. Weight loss (if needed).
2. Exercise 3-5 times/week at moderate intensity. This could include cardio, such as walking and light weights to help build muscle.
3. Follow the Mediterranean diet (there has been research on this diet in regards to helping treat fatty liver).
4. Decreasing industrial fructose, such as soda. Fructose is broken down in the liver.
5. Vitamin E 800IU can help with NASH per studies, but must be under doctor supervision.
6. Avoid alcohol.
7. Lipid lowering medications.
Remember to always consult with your physician before trying a new regimen, such as supplements, eating plans and exercise.
American College of Gastroenterology: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Retrieved from patients.gi.org.
Naim Alkhouri, MD, and Marsha H. Kay, MD, FACG, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH – Updated December 2012.
Ariel E. Feldstein, MD, and Marsha H. Kay, MD, FACG, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH – Published January 2006.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist - CDN, RDN
My name is Valerie Polley. I am a Indianapolis-based registered dietitian and owner of Blue Tree Nutrition. I consult with clients both local and far away.
I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Purdue University and I have been practicing for 20 years.
I thoroughly enjoy helping clients through their gut health journey. I see a range of GI issues including, but not limited to celiac disease, IBS and SIBO. I also specialize in the FODMAP elimination diet.
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