Fatty Liver Disease Can Be Reversed & Cured?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing concern in India, with a prevalence rate of almost 40% in the general population. NAFLD is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to inflammation and damage to the liver over time. The condition is closely linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The high prevalence of NAFLD in India is a cause for concern, as it is becoming increasingly common among young adults and children. The condition is often asymptomatic in its early stages, making it difficult to diagnose until it has progressed to more advanced stages.
There are two types of fatty liver disease: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). As the names suggest, NAFLD is caused by factors other than alcohol consumption, while AFLD is caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
The main cause of NAFLD is an unhealthy lifestyle, including a diet high in saturated and trans fats, high-calorie intake, lack of physical activity, and being overweight or obese. These factors contribute to insulin resistance, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Dr Parag Dashatwar, Senior Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad says “Fatty liver disease is a reversible condition with the right lifestyle changes. Losing weight, reducing sugar intake, avoiding alcohol, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking care of underlying medical conditions, and getting enough sleep are all important strategies for reversing fatty liver disease.”
Other risk factors for NAFLD include type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and tamoxifen, can also contribute to the development of fatty liver disease.
AFLD, on the other hand, is caused by excessive alcohol consumption. The liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol, and when the liver is overwhelmed by excessive amounts of alcohol, it can lead to the accumulation of fat in the liver cells.
The good news is that both NAFLD and AFLD can be reversed and cured with the right lifestyle changes. The most effective way to treat NAFLD is to make changes to your diet and exercise habits. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce fat accumulation in the liver. Regular exercise can also help improve insulin resistance and reduce the amount of fat in the liver.
For AFLD, the most effective treatment is to stop drinking alcohol altogether. Once you stop drinking, your liver can begin to repair itself and the fat in the liver can be eliminated over time.
In some cases, medication may be prescribed to treat fatty liver disease. For example, medications that lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels can help reduce fat accumulation in the liver. Medications that improve insulin sensitivity may also be prescribed to help reverse the effects of insulin resistance.