A Closer Look at Fatty Liver Disease

A Closer Look at Fatty Liver Disease

DISCLAIMER: This article has not been evaluated by the FDA and shall therefore not be taken as a substitute for any diagnosis or treatment from physicians.

Research shows that one in five overweight people have fatty liver and even if you don’t see its relevance now, knowing about it is becoming a necessity.

The common notion is as long as you maintain low-fat diet, you’re protecting yourself from fatty liver disease. This is not necessarily true. I’ve seen patients who strive to maintain a fat-free diet yet still end up with a fatty liver.

Bottom line, we need to take a closer look at it. And that’s what we’ll do today.

What causes Fatty Liver?

The most common causes of fatty liver have something to do with your diet. Below are food listings which may be contributing to the development of a fatty liver.

  1. Low quality protein in diet
  2. Minimal fruits and vegetable intake
  3. High level of carbohydrates intake
  4. Diets low in antioxidants like Vitamin C
  5. High intake of deep fried foods, chips, margarine and vegetable oil

It is important to note that high level consumption of carbohydrates and sugar causes fatty liver and not dietary fat. Coupled with insufficient physical activities and exercise, high carbohydrate diet causes your body to be resistant to insulin. This in turn results to increase of insulin level in your body leading to storage of more fat.

Lack of exercise while on a carbohydrate-rich diet also makes your body insulin resistant.

What are other causes of Fatty Liver?

  1. Family history of Fatty Liver – While it’s not necessarily hereditary, having a history of the disease in your family somehow increases your risk of developing the same.
  2. Being overweight – Obesity is closely related to fatty liver disease. In fact, 95% of people undergoing surgery for obesity have been found to have fatty liver as well. On average, 57-74% of obese individuals have been diagnosed with fatty liver.
  3. Liver damage from medication – There are times when prescribed medications for other health issues considerably produce side effects harmful to the liver. Some drugs that can contribute to the development of fatty liver disease includes; perhexiline, diltiazem, amiodarone, paracetamol and tamoxifen. 

To ensure that no medical prescription will compromise your liver, make sure to consult your doctor for details and recommendations.

  1. Liver damage from recreational drugs – Too much consumption of recreation drugs like alcohol and amphetamines can cause fatty liver in the long run. Worse, constant usage of these drugs not only increases you risk of having fatty liver. It also increases your vulnerability to addiction.
  1. Liver damage from environmental toxins – Toxins are present in almost all of the things we use at home.  From dry cleaning fluids to glues, insecticides, and plastics. A lot of these toxins find its way through our food chain which we then take in unconsciously.

Factory workers are even more at risk. With their daily jobs involving chemicals and other hazards, the chance of damaging the liver is doubled especially in the absence of protective gears.

  1. Rapid weight loss – Reducing your weight is fine. But doing it rapidly to the point of starving oneself is dangerous especially if you have a fatty liver. Consult your physician for a recommendation once you decide to change your diet. More often than not, you will be referred to a dietitian who will then work with you to develop a healthy meal plan to suit your needs.

Feeling healthy on the outside is not a guarantee of the absence of any disease. Know your body better and be mindful of minor signs of uneasiness.

Pick your foods well and live with a healthy liver!

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