What is NAFLD and how can it be avoided?

What is NAFLD

Living with NAFLD which is a Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease can be very distressing. Our liver contains some amount of fat which is normal. When the fat content exceeds the normal amounts, it causes fatty liver. The difference between alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is simple, as the name suggests the alcoholic fatty liver happens to those who consume excess alcohol and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease happens to those who do not consume alcohol. For regular hard drink drinkers, fatty liver is common. But in the case of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, alcohol is not the main cause as the name suggests. It happens due to unhealthy lifestyle choices like poor diet and lack of exercise. NAFLD can very well be reversed if proper care is taken of oneself. There is no specific treatment but the doctor would advise the way forward in order to curb the progression of the disease.

What are the various indications or signs of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

If you are wondering as to what are some of the common signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease then we have put together a list. It should be noted that these symptoms can be common to other problems as well. And more often, people with NAFLD do not face the symptoms unless it progresses to cirrhosis which is scarring of the liver. Some people encounter cirrhosis because of sheer negligence on their end to treat the problem early on. This is why it is advised that one must slowly and gradually start making necessary lifestyle changes in order for life to get back to normal. Getting back to the symptoms, here is what one should look out for:

  • Mild right side abdomen pain
  • Fatigue
  • enlarged liver
  • Swelling in the belly
  • Jaundice

The exact causes of the disease are still not known but people with pre-existing health problems like diabetes and high cholesterol are more prone to getting the NAFLD.

Diet for NAFLD Patients

What you eat on a regular basis will eventually determine your health. It is therefore emphasized from a young age that we eat healthily and do away with junk food. As difficult as it may seem in the current times, enforcing some discipline in life can avert such issues. Suddenly making major dietary changes can be extremely challenging as you would neglect food initially, eat in smaller quantities and all this could lead to stress. Nevertheless, as challenging as it is, it needs to be done. So here is a list of foods that one must consider eating. The diet for NAFLD patients is in fact not too bad at all. It’s healthy, nutritious and if cooked interestingly then you will simply savor every bite.

  1. Coffee: This drink has become a life saver in so many ways and once again when it comes to battling NAFLF with foods and beverages, coffee makes it to the list. Coffee helps fight the abnormal liver enzymes which in turn helps limit the damage being done on the liver.
  2. Green veggies: A must! These take care of all the fat build-up and are absolutely healthy. Include them in your daily diet and see how it works wonders.
  3. Tofu: Another great food you should include is tofu as it is low on fats and high in proteins.
  4. Fish: It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids and helps in improving the fat levels.
  5. Oatmeal: Being high in fibre, oats can help keep the weight in check especially for those who suffer from obesity which is a trigger for fatty liver disease.
  6. Walnuts: Not only are they absolutely delicious, but they are also very high in omega-3 fatty acids which make them an ideal pick to improve liver function.
  7. Avocado: There are studies that suggest that avocados have shown to slow down liver damage thereby improving liver function.
  8. Milk and dairy products: Being high in whey protein, they can provide protection from further liver damage.

Some other foods that also help people with fatty liver diseases are green tea, olive oil, garlic, and sunflower seeds. Including them in some form in regular foods can go a long way in helping improve the damages done to the liver.

While these are the foods you should include, be mindful of foods that you should avoid like, alcohol, added sugars, fried foods, salt, white bread, pasta, rice and read meat. All these will not help the liver heal.

How to cure NAFLD?

For nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, there is no specific cure. Changes in lifestyle greatly contribute in reversing the damage. It is therefore advised by doctors to curb unhealthy lifestyle habits in order to lead a healthy life. If at all one is suffering from other illnesses and is on medication, it is important to check the side effects of the current medication as it could lead to further liver damage.

One should be aware that NAFLD does not show any symptoms as we mentioned earlier, so conducting regular medical check-ups can really help in averting such problems in the foreseeable future. In fact, it is a very healthy practice as if you do suffer from any illness, it becomes increasingly better to treat any disease in its nascent stages before it progresses any further and hampers life. In the case of NAFLD too, treating it in time can go a long way in ensuring the liver stays healthy.

We are lucky that the liver is that one organ that regenerates itself in case of damage. So why not fix the problem before it gets worse, right? Make it a practice to do so and watch your life transform. Not only will you be physically healthy but mentally too because we all know what mental toll illnesses can take on us. So start making major lifestyle changes now. It is never too late to start healthy and lead a life free of complications especially when it comes to health.

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