The largest of your internal organs is no other than the filter of your body – the liver. The liver processes fat and metabolizes the sugar reserves of the body to create digestible sugar for regulation of glucose. Since the function of the liver is crucial to one’s health, it is also crucial to take care of it and ensure its proper function. One of the diseases that you may endanger your liver is hepatic steatosis or fatty liver.
The term “fatty liver” does not denote the mere presence of fat in the liver – which is normal. What may cause you trouble is the amount of fat. As long as it remains under 5-10%, your liver is fine. In case this percentage increases, you might be facing this illness. Moreover, statistically, one in ten people in the USA have this problem, most of which are in their fifties and sixties.
However, the nature of fatty liver disease may vary depending of the factor of alcohol consumption. The type which does not involve alcohol abuse is non-alcoholic and its occurrence is not proven to be hereditary and connected to any particular causes, except for the fact that the risk of this illness is increased in middle-aged overweight people. On the other hand, as the name itself suggests, the alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is linked to excessive amounts of drinking and there is a possible connection of family history of drinking problems and the degrees of the illness.
How to recognize the signs and fight back
Fatty liver disease may cause fatigue, weakness, nausea, decrease in one’s appetite or weight, upper right abdomen pains, confusedness and lack of concentration, as well as jaundice.
All these symptoms may be reverted or ameliorated with a few simple changes of everyday habits.
First, make sure you control your calorie intake and lose the extra pounds by simultaneously increasing your level of physical activity to at least half an hour 4-5 times a week. That can be accomplished more easily with eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and of course, no alcohol. Smoking and heavy use of medications are to be eliminated too. Also, keep track of your glucose levels and if present, your diabetes. All these activities will inevitably lead to lowering of the cholesterol and fat levels in your blood.
Reduce the risk at home
A few natural effective remedies for keeping your liver healthy can replace many medical treatments and drugs with the same objective. Some of them are gooseberries, as a rich source of antioxidants and milk thistle flower containing Silymarine – a flavonoid that has positive influence on the liver. Moreover, sulfur-rich vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, leeks, onions and cabbage are known for their detoxifying properties. Also, licorice root is a natural ingredient that lowers the negative transaminase enzymes AST and ALT present in the liver. Another way to help your liver is to stimulate the production of liver bile, which dissolves the fats in the liver in order to make digestion easier. Such natural stimulants are green tea, lemon juice, coffee, artichokes and dandelions.