I think you have heard of so many people saying they suffer from fatty liver diseases but they seem healthy and they keep doing their daily activities. What are fatty liver signs? How do we know we have fatty liver and how to prevent it?
I had a fatty liver, even though in my case it wasn’t really bad. But it had a lot of annoying impacts on my health.
In our daily lives now, we tend to ignore several signs from our body due to tight schedule and so many things to do until we can no longer avoid them. We can actually prevent the worst from happening if we are able to detect it early.
The liver is a very strong organ, it can endure all the abuse for quite a long time, so there can be considerable damage before symptoms appear. That’s why some people still look okay from the outside, even though they claim that they have fatty liver.
Most diseases start from the liver and the scary part is that it is so silent, it creeps up on you. Liver is one of the most important organs in our body that helps detoxify chemicals and metabolize drugs. It is like the most important machine in our body that is responsible for all the body system.
Fatty liver does not happen instantly. The fat layer accumulates over time from your food intake, daily habit, or drug consumption.
When you have a fatty liver, the functions of the liver will be greatly diminished causing a lot of unhealthy symptoms that lead to metabolic diseases.
First, let us learn more about the functions of the liver, so we understand how important this organ is.
Functions of the liver
Bile production and excretion.
Bile is produced by the liver and it helps digest the food we eat, breaks down the fat so you can absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins from the food, vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
The liver metabolizes fats, proteins, and the carbohydrates that we eat to produce energy when needed.
The liver makes cholesterol and lipoproteins
Your liver makes cholesterol and lipoproteins. Cholesterol is a major component of all cell membranes. It is necessary to produce vitamin D, steroid hormones, and bile.
The liver makes glucose + glycogen
The liver manufactures and stores glucose depending on the body’s needs. Insulin and glucagon signals the need to store or release glucose. (1)
When you’re not eating at night (overnight or in between meals), the body needs to make its own sugar to keep the bodily function to work. The liver supplies sugar/glucose by transforming glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis.
The liver also makes glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis.
The liver detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs.
It removes toxic byproducts of certain medications and chemicals in some food. It transforms the substances like ammonia, metabolic waste, drugs, and chemicals so they can be excreted. (2)
The liver metabolizes excess hormones
The liver regulates the balance of sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It metabolizes and removes the excess hormones from the body. If it cannot function properly, there is risk of hormonal imbalances. (3)
The liver also makes fat-burning hormones
The liver makes and regulates fat-burning hormones and fat-storing hormones.
The liver stores excess vitamins, minerals, and sugar.
It stores and provides the vitamins, minerals, and glucose when needed.
There are 10 early signs that you can identify if you have problems with your liver. If you can spot one symptom of liver problems down below, it can definitely save your life. You can prevent serious diseases like Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and even cancer from happening. If you reverse fatty liver, your health will greatly improve. You will get some bonus too, like fresher, younger look, more energy, and even weight loss.
Fatty Liver Signs You Need To Be Aware Of
- Difficulty losing weight and keeping a steady weight / sudden weight gain
Have you ever tried many weight loss programs and failed? Maybe you lose some pounds but then you get some more after you stop the program.
I’ve been there. Sudden weight gain is my problem. I didn’t know the liver is one of the factors. When I found out about this, I fixed the liver first, got my health back, and the weight loss comes naturally.
- Cravings for sugar
When your body is not healthy, it craves for sugary foods or carbs. Trust me, when you fix your liver, you will no longer crave for sugar or carbs. Try doing no sugar diet for 2 weeks, and you will feel different.
You feel tired after lunch in the afternoon, or sometimes even after waking up in the morning. No matter how much coffee you have, you still feel tired. This is one indication that the liver is not healthy.
- Sleep problems
If you have trouble falling asleep or waking up several times at night, you might have liver problem. You need to fix it to get healthy.
- Strong body odor
You can put on deodorant, but you can still smell a strong body odor. It is a sign that your liver has trouble filtering the toxic substances in your blood.
- Bad breath
When the liver has lost its function of filtering chemicals or toxic substances, a condition called fetor hepaticus may occur, causing you to have a unique, sweet, musty smell in your breath. It is different from other kinds of bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Belly fat
If you have a protruding gut, it is definitely a sign of a liver problem. The liver has lost its function in metabolizing fat, so the fat overflows around the organs.
- Right shoulder pain, including headaches at the right side.
Pain that occurs at the right side of the body is caused by fatty liver. The liver is located at the right side of your body. There is a connection at the back of the liver to your right back.
- High Cholesterol
High cholesterol in your blood test indicates that the cholesterol produced in the liver is not well transported in the blood system. It is an indication that the liver is not functioning well.
Bloating, gas, burping may sound normal in everyday life, but if they happen so often, you might want to suspect the possibility of having a fatty liver.
What Causes Fatty Liver?
What causes fatty liver? You have avoided eating too much fat for so long, how can you get fatty liver? Well… here are some causes:
- Extreme low protein diet
Lean meat spike more insulin than fatty meat. The more insulin you have, the more fat you create in the liver. (4)
Some medications like corticosteroids, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications like tamoxifen. (5)
Hepatitis B and C viruses cause chronic liver diseases, including Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases (NAFLD). (6)
- High levels of insulin
High levels of insulin over a period of time can cause insulin resistance. (7)
- Consuming too much carbohydrates
Carbohydrates and proteins are converted into triglycerides. These are stored in the fat cells and then deposited in the liver.
- Frequent eating
Every time you eat, you spike insulin. Insulin will cause fat deposits in the liver. Dietary habit and lifestyle affect your health
- Too much fructose
Fructose is a simple sugar found in sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and honey. Fructose will go directly into the liver, causing more fat deposits. It cannot be processed by our bodies. (8)
Fatty liver is not just for obese, overweight people with protruding gut. Skinny people might have it too. Most skinny people think that they are healthy and they can eat whatever they want without getting fat. This is as dangerous as the overweight people who eat a lot. Check for the symptoms mentioned above for any signs of fatty liver.
How To Reverse Fatty Liver?
- Eat a lot of raw cruciferous vegetables
Include broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, parsley, all leafy, green vegetables into your diet. Take 7-10 cups of vegetables daily. You can eat them in the form of salad, or a smoothie. If you are busy and always in a tight schedule, blend them all and consume it as a smoothie. Your body needs at least 4700 mg of potassium every day. (9)
- Take small amounts of lean proteins (raw nuts, fish).
Lean proteins spike more insulin, and more insulin will produce fat that is stored in the liver. Eat more fatty proteins (pork belly, beef liver, chicken skin).
- Consume foods loaded with choline: egg yolks, liver, grass-fed dairy.
Choline is good to flush away the fat in fatty liver. You can add Choline supplement or eat foods loaded with choline.
- Foods with methionine: beef, chicken, pork, nuts, fish, turkey, cheese can help reverse fatty liver. (10)
If you are deficient in methionine and choline, there will be fat deposits in the liver. (11)
- Take Choline as supplement 400-500 mg. This will speed up the process of cleansing the liver.
You can take Choline as a supplement to help you speed up the cleansing. (12)
- Do Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Start with the 16/8 fasting for a week, and then you can improve it to 20/4, and even one meal a day. You can do it gradually to let your body adjust to less frequent eating pattern. This will improve your liver condition, let it rest between meals. There are many healthy benefits that you can get if you do OMAD (One Meal A Day)
For more in-depth guide on Intermittent Fasting, you can click here.
- Practice Healthy Ketogenic Diet
This might sound difficult to practice every day if you have been on a diet that consists of a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, but don’t worry. And so many people think that doing ketogenic diet is expensive. There is a healthy ketogenic diet that can be done within your budget.
Untreated fatty liver that goes on for years will cause inflammation and scar tissue that can develop into cirrhosis and liver cancer. You will lose the function of the liver in the end. Pay attention to fatty liver signs. Before it’s too late, fix it, change your lifestyle, change your diet.
Now you know that fatty liver is not caused by eating too much fat in the diet, but an unhealthy diet consisting of too much carbohydrates, sugar, and protein. Alcohol does not cause fatty liver, but if you have fatty liver, you should not drink alcohol, it can worsen the condition and later develop into cirrhosis.
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Hi all! My name is Claudia Syanny and I write articles here at Olive Oylee! I believe that everyone is entitled to know how the body works to get a healthy body. I share my experiences and the strategies I used to be healthy and lose weight in the end.