It is normal if you have a small amount of fat in your liver. But, if you have in excess of 5-10% of fat in the entire weight of the organ – you may have liver disease. Some cases may lead to serious health problems from complications of this condition.
Fortunately, there are treatments, both medical (lots of drugs) and homeopathic (natural diet), where you can reverse and eliminate fatty liver disease. First, a quick primer on what it is.
Alcoholic or Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
90-100% of the estimated 15 million people in the United States alone develop this health condition that begins with an enlarged liver. Heredity may play a part in it by predisposing a person to alcoholism. In addition, other factors that may cause an enlarged liver are:
- Hepatitis C
- Too much iron in your blood
- Being overweight
Nonalcoholic liver disease is by far the number one cause of this condition. There are people who have a fatty liver that will never cause them any problems or lead to something more serious, even though it isn’t normal.
There are also people who have what is called nonalcoholic steatohepatisis which, while similar to alcoholic liver disease, occurs in people who don’t drink often, or even teetotalers who don’t drink at all.
This type can lead to serious problems as it may cause scar tissue in the liver, called cirrhosis. Over time, it can lead to liver cancer, liver damage and failure, or liver related death.
Both types of the nonalcoholic forms of this disease are becoming more and more common. An estimated 20% of all adults have some form of this the condition, and approximately 6 million children. Studies have shown that Asian and Hispanic children are more at risk.
Symptoms of Nonalcoholic Liver Disease
What are the symptoms of NAFLD, or Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease? Well, there usually aren’t any. If you do have symptoms, they might be:
- Pain in your upper right abdominal area
- Weight loss
What are the Effects on Your Liver?
If you have this condition, also called steatosis, you might develop diabetes which, over a period of time, can cause cardiovascular complications. You might also have a significant risk of end stage liver failure.
There are several diagnostic tests that are used to diagnose this disease:
- Blood tests, including liver profiles that test enzymes
- Imaging, either a CT scan or an MRI
- Liver biopsy, a tissue sample done by inserting a very long needle into your liver and obtaining a bit of the organ for lab examination
When Should You See a Doctor?
Since there aren’t normally any symptoms for this health problem, you should simply go to the doctor if you are experiencing unexplained weight loss, unusual fatigue or pain in your upper right quadrant.
Needless to say, if you are showing any yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin—which is jaundice—you should see a doctor immediately as this can be a sign of serious liver failure.
What are the Treatments for NALFD?
Fortunately, there are several treatments, both conventional and homeopathic, for this disease. Currently, treatment strategies for NALFD consist of:
- Identifying and treating associated conditions such as diabetes and/or hyperlipidemia
- Improving insulin resistance either by means of weight loss, exercise or medications
- Using antioxidants to protect further damage to the liver
In recent years, there has been much progress in a holistic approach to treating fatty liver disease with such things as a cleansing diet, liver detox diet and flush, as well as a diet of cleansing foods.
While diet and lifestyle changes is currently the best way to reverse NALFD (see below), your liver can also benefit from homeopathic treatments, such as this detox spray.
Milk thistle extract (silybin) and chelidonium majus are some traditional herbs used to help the liver. Scientific studies of these herbs (see here and here) show promising results in helping the liver.
This is an attractive prospect to a lot of people who don’t like the modern tendency of the medical profession to try and treat everything with often toxic drugs that often do more harm than good.
If you stop and really pay attention to the long list of potential side effects for many prescriptions medicines, it’s a classic case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. You may get rid of some symptoms of your original complaint, only to get whammied with more that are far worse than what you had to begin with.
If you choose homeopathic supplements, note that this will help your liver, but not reverse fatty liver disease. For that, you need to change your life around with diet and exercise, as I detail below:
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Making simple diet and lifestyle changes can help to halt the effects of this condition, and in most cases can turn it around completely.
Here are some suggestions for home treatment of fatty liver disease, or steatosis hepatitis:
- If you drink alcohol – stop.
- If you smoke – stop.
- If you are overweight, lose weight slowly until you reach your ideal weight. (DON’T go on a crash diet, it will make it worse!)
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Keep your cholesterol levels at or below normal.
- If you are diabetic, keep it under control with normal glucose levels.
- Avoid harmful substances such as drugs, fast food and junk foods.