Monday, December 28, 2009


What is it? How do you get it? What does it do to you? How do you prevent it?

It is non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It is related to having excess fat in one's diet. The liver metabolizes and manages fats. If the body doesn't need all of them, the live stores them. If too much fat is stored in the liver, one can develop fatty liver disease - or fat build up in the liver. This is also a risk when one develops insulin resistance. Too much blood glucose turns into triglycerides or blood fats and again, too much fat has an adverse effect on the liver. It should be obvious to you by now, but I will iterate. Obesity is a cause of both conditions - too much fat and insulin resistance.

NAFLD is common. In fact it is expected that as many as two thirds of persons in Western societies have this condition. Whether the growing number is due to obesity prevalence alone or to the increase in liver enzyme testing in persons on cholesterol lowering medications is a current issue of debate. [not for me, I think that the people who are taking meds like Lipitor for their high cholesterol are also likely to be overweight - so what's the difference?]

NAFLD is not usually a problem for those who have it. There are few if any symptoms and usually no adverse outcomes. The problem with that statement however, is this: It usually doesn't kill you - or cause liver failure, unless it does. The risk for failure is associated with inflammation and scarring of the liver.

Fair enough yes. So what you can do is this. Maintain a normal weight. If you are diagnosed with this condition OR with insulin resistance, lose 10 percent of your body weight, but slowly. Losing weight rapidly can actually cause this condition. If you lose one to two pounds a week you will be doing your body a favor! Also, increase fiber and reduce intake of saturated fat. In the material I read, it was also suggested that people exercise daily in order to reduce the chances of insulin resistance.

[info for this blog came from both the Mayo Clinic and an online magazine titled Today's Dietitian]

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