If you’ve been diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), you may be wondering what you can do about it. It’s true that there are no medications or procedures to treat NAFLD specifically, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with too much fat in your liver. The good news is, you can take action to reduce or reverse your fatty liver disease before your liver becomes damaged.
Here are five ways to reverse or reduce fatty liver disease:
1. Lose weight
The top recommendation for people with NAFLD who want to reduce or reverse the condition is to lose weight. When you lose fat, you lose it from everywhere in your body, including your liver. If you have a lot of weight to lose, it’s good to know that you don’t have to get down to your ideal body weight in order to improve your fatty liver disease. Just losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight – for a 200-pound person, that’s 10 to 20 pounds – can help decrease the amount of fat in your liver and improve your liver health.
2. Avoid alcohol
Reduce stress on your liver by avoiding alcohol altogether or reducing how much you drink. Alcohol consumption can make NAFLD worse. In addition to alcohol, check with your medical provider to see if any medicines or supplements that you’re taking can worsen NAFLD. Giving your liver a break from alcohol can go a long way to help reverse this condition.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, making some healthy changes to the way you eat can reduce the amount of fat in your liver. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid added sugar, alcoholic drinks and soda, red meat, fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat.
4. Get regular exercise
Show your liver some love by getting regular exercise, including aerobic or weight-bearing workouts. Even just 30 minutes of exercise per day can help with weight loss by increasing your metabolic rate.
5. Treat metabolic syndrome-related and other health conditions
Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term that refers to a constellation of conditions that affect your metabolism and raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious problems. Metabolic syndrome includes:
- Obesity, especially including excess body fat around the middle
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Higher than normal blood sugar
In addition to metabolic syndrome, other conditions can contribute to, or worsen, NAFLD. They include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid conditions – overactive thyroid or underactive thyroid
- Underactive pituitary gland
Ask your doctor whether these or other conditions may be contributing to your fatty liver disease.
Capital Digestive Care offers advanced fatty liver disease care at convenient locations throughout the region. Contact one of our convenient locations to schedule an appointment with one of our fatty liver disease experts.