Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, often abbreviated to NAFLD, is an umbrella term that encompasses many different types of liver diseases that are not caused by excessive alcohol consumption, including types of cirrhosis, steatohepatitis and fatty liver. NAFLD presents in two distinct stages. The first stage is non-alcoholic fatty liver, or NAFL, followed by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Any diagnosis of either of these stages of NAFLD should only be made for people who consume less than the recommended daily intake of alcohol, which currently stands at 2.5 units per day for women and 3 units per day for men.
NAFLD is easier to prevent than to treat, so maintaining good liver health throughout life is the best way to avoid having to deal with this disease and any associated complications. The PDF attachment has some tips on maintaining good liver health.
Dr. Carolyn Dean MD recommends a nutritious diet, a good intake of water and a specially designed supplement from the ReSet range to help the body maintain overall health naturally at the cellular level. These include ReMag, ReAline, ReMyte, Flora ReVive, RnA Drops, and ReStructure with Pico Silver.
Different supplements will work better for different people depending on health, diet and lifestyle. Among the leading causes of fatty liver are too much sugar and too many simple carbohydrates in the diet, which lead to cells shutting down and glucose being transformed into fat. This can cause conditions such as diabetes as well as a fatty liver. Supplements can help avoid this when combined with a healthy diet and appropriate consumption of water.
There is no current treatment for NAFLD other than the recommendation to follow a healthy diet. In severe cases, a liver transplant of partial liver transplant may be recommended. You can learn more about this by watching the short video attachment.
There are a variety of risk factors for NAFLD, most of which revolve around diet and lifestyle choices. The condition has been diagnosed in some people, including children, who do not have any of the common risk factors.
However, factors that increase the risk significantly include being obese or largely overweight, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure, having type 2 diabetes or having metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Smokers and people aged over 50 also have a higher risk than others of contracting NAFLD. While NAFLD has many similar symptoms to alcohol-related liver disease, or ARLD, it is distinct in that it is not caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.
In the early stages, most people with NAFLD will not experience any symptoms. It is usually diagnosed in patients who have had tests carried out for other reasons. However, in the later stages of NASH, or if fibrosis develops, symptoms may include weakness, unexplained loss of weight, extreme tiredness and a dull ache experienced in the top right of the abdominal area.
The most advanced stage of liver disease, cirrhosis, presents with more serious symptoms, which can include itchy skin, edema (swelling in the stomach, legs, ankles and feet) or jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin).
NAFLD is most often diagnosed during tests that are ordered to diagnose or rule out other possible conditions. These tests can include blood tests and ultrasound scans. If an NAFLD diagnosis is arrived at, the doctor may then order further tests to determine how advanced the condition is and what stage it is at. These extra tests may include a Fibroscan, which is another type of ultrasound, or a biopsy of the liver.