What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

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You are probably well aware of the symptoms of liver toxicity due to a poor lifestyle. Liver disease, on the other hand, is commonly prescribed to people who consume too much alcohol. Recently, another type of liver disease has been on the rise. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a different type of liver disease that is not affected by alcohol intake. [1] Instead, it is caused by the high level of accumulated fat within the liver. A normal liver is about 5 – 10% fat. Anymore than that can be harmful and lead to NAFLD or, the more threatening and harmful version, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). At its worst, NAFLD or NASH can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.

Who Is at Risk for NAFLD?

The liver acts as a filter for the body by separating helpful nutrients and discarding harmful substances. Consequently, the liver encounters many hard-to-handle toxins, as well as lipids or fat cells. Since NAFLD is affected by the amount of fat in the liver, individuals who are overweight or obese are often at risk. Also, people with diabetes or high blood pressure can develop the disease. NAFLD has also been seen in people who undergo rapid weight loss. It has been discovered that 25% of Americans are affected by NAFLD. [2] It is more common in women than in men and is also most prevalent in people ages 40 – 60.

What Are the Symptoms of NAFLD and What Does it Do?

Typically, NAFLD presents with few or no symptoms, [3] but possible signs include: fatigue, weakness, weight loss or loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice. NAFLD is usually confirmed via blood tests and ultrasounds. The disease affects the body negatively by causing inflammation in the liver. This inflammation can lead to scarring of the liver tissue which can affect liver functions. If left unchecked, the inflammation and scarring can lead to the escalated form of NAFLD which can, as mentioned above, lead to liver failure.

How Can I Prevent NAFLD?

The best way to avoid developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is by leading a healthy lifestyle. If you eat healthy foods, especially ones that support your liver, get regular exercise, and limit your alcohol intake, you should be able to lower your risks of developing NAFLD or NASH. [4]

Has NAFLD affected you or someone you know? Leave a comment and share your experience with us.

References (4)
  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Mayo Clinic. 2014.
  2. American Liver Foundation. NAFLD. American Liver Foundation. 2015.
  3. ACGI. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. ACGI. 2012.
  4. Pullen, Lara C. Exercise Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Medscape. 2015.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Dottie

    Yes I have been diagnosed with NASH. Tried to do a detox program only to have the products raise my blood pressure to a dangerous high.
    Was unable to complete the detox program you offered due to the blood pressure issue.
    I would appreciate your input on how to improve my health and reduce the problem of NASH ….

  • What raised your blood pressure?

  • Silvia Shinpaugh

    I did too just find out today of having a fatty liver. I was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure 12 years ago. But, been taking 2 different HBP medications to control it. So, with that said I read that people with HBP are at risk of having Fatty Liver Disease. Hopefully I can stick to a healthy diet and lose the weight I need to, so I can have my liver healthy again…good luck Dottie.
    ☺sincerely Silvia S.


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