People who have consumed alcohol heavily in their life are at an increased risk of suffering from liver problems, such as alcoholic liver disease.
However, those who do not drink alcohol excessively may also experience a liver disease, known as a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The condition often ranges in severity. When there is inflammation of the liver, the condition is known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This stage is serious where things may advance to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.
According to statistics, only in the United States, more than 20percent of the population suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and 3 percent of the population suffer from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the case of NAFLD, patients do not have any symptoms or very little, such as weight loss, fatigue, malaise, and pain in the upper right abdomen.
NAFLD is caused by an accumulation of fat in the liver. Note that this isn’t a result of alcohol, but it can be attributed to malnutrition, rapid weight loss, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, diabetes, hepatitis, and certain medications like corticosteroids, tetracycline, amiodarone, aspirin, diltiazem, and antiviral drugs.
7 symptoms of fatty liver disease:
1. Abdominal swelling (ascites)
2. Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface
4. Pain in the upper right abdomen
5. Enlarged spleen
6. Red palms
7. Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
Home remedies for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Many home remedies are proven to be effective for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Here are some of the most common non-alcoholic fatty liver disease natural treatments:
Regular physical exercise can help treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A regular exercise program will help in maintaining a stable body weight as well as fighting obesity. It will also increase your metabolism rate and help maintain proper liver function.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. If you are new to exercise, begin with a low-impact exercise regimen and gradually incorporate high-impact exercises. It is best to start exercising under the guidance of an expert.
Brisk walking, jogging, and aerobics are particularly good for your liver. Swimming, bicycling and other recreational sports are also helpful.
2. Try low glycemic diet
In order to prevent and treat NAFLD, it is of great help to avoid high-glycemic-index (GI) foods, as they increase blood sugar levels. These foods include brown rice, potatoes, watermelon, and processed foods such as beer, chocolate bars, and sweetened cereals.
A 2008 study published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology showed that high sugar consumption leads to NAFLD, and 80 percent of NAFLD patients consumed excessive amounts of juices and soft drinks that equaled 12 teaspoons of sugar.
Hence, you should consume foods with low-glycemic-index (GI) like onions, apples, garlic, eggs, legumes, peas, artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
3. Consume flaxseed
The phytoconstituents in flaxseed help prevent harmful hormones from causing stress on the liver. According to a 2013 study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, the combination of flaxseed oil and alpha-lipoic acid can help prevent NAFLD by reducing liver fat accumulation and oxidative stress.
Dandelion leaf or root is often used to promote proper liver function as an effective cleansing herb for NAFLD. Dandelion will detoxify and metabolize fat that accumulates in the liver. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that dandelion leaf extract can help prevent and treat obesity-related NAFLD. The dandelion leaf extract significantly suppressed fat accumulation in the liver and lowered insulin resistance.
Enjoy dandelion root tea to obtain the full effects of a fatty liver disease. Add a teaspoon of dried dandelion root to a cup of boiling hot water. Next, cover and steep for up to 10 minutes. Strain the decoction. It is recommended to drink three cups of the tea each day over a three-week period.
5. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is considered the top herbal remedy to improve liver function and treat and prevent NAFLD. The flavonoids in milk thistle can effectively protect one from liver damage. The flavonoids also help enhance the detoxification process, including increasing the glutathione in the liver.
Glutathione is a key component for low liver function in NAFLD patients. Evidence also suggests that milk thistle is useful for other liver-related diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, and chemical toxicity. The recommended intake is 900 milligrams of milk thistle twice daily with meals.
6. Indian gooseberry or Alma
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is another effective remedy for fatty liver disease. Its high antioxidant vitamin C content helps keep the liver functioning at optimal levels. It also helps get rid of harmful toxins from the liver. Moreover, amla is good for people who have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
You can eat 3 to 4 raw amla daily or include the fruit in your cooking. Also, you can mix 1 teaspoon of amla powder in a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily.
7. Licorice root
You can also use licorice to cure liver problems like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A 2012 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that licorice root extract helps decrease the activities of enzymes called ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It also prevents liver damage due to heavy metals and toxins.
You can prepare licorice tea by adding 1/2 teaspoon of licorice root to a cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, add a little raw honey and drink this tea 2 times a day. Also, you can find licorice rood as a supplement.
Packed with valuable antioxidants, turmeric is another effective home remedy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A 2008 study published in the journal China Pharmaceuticals found that turmeric can help prevent fatty liver disease.
Turmeric lowers inflammation, oxidative stress, changes fat metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity, so it reduces liver injury and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Moreover, it can help in the treatment of liver cancer, known as hepatocarcinoma, and liver fibrosis.
You can prepare a turmeric tea by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 glass of water and boil it. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks. Turmeric supplements are also available as capsules and tinctures.
9. Green tea
According to a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, green tea with high-density catechins improves liver function and fat infiltration in patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Green tea helps block the amount of fat stored in the liver and improves liver function. Moreover, regular intake of green tea reduces body weight and fat percentage.
Drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea every day to get rid of fatty liver disease and protect your liver. Green tea is also available as an extract in liquid and capsules.
Lemon contains high amounts of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps the liver produce enzymes called glutathione. Glutathione neutralizes toxins, thus lemon helps the liver with detoxification. Also, a 2014 study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology found that a compound present in lemons called naringenin helps ease liver inflammation.
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon in a glass of water. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for several weeks.
- If you are overweight, take necessary steps for a gradual and sustained weight loss. Rapid weight loss (losing 4 or more pounds a week) can be damaging to the liver.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fiber.
- Minimize sugar consumption and reduce your intake of fried food.
- Stop drinking alcohol completely.
- If you are diabetic, try to keep your blood sugar level under control.
- Take all necessary steps to keep your cholesterol and triglycerides at healthy levels.