Have you heard of Fatty Liver disease?
At the rate that things are going, with people getting lazier and fatter, fatty liver disease will be a very well-known health condition in the not so distant future. Maybe you have heard of it, maybe you have it, maybe you know of someone who has it?
What is Fatty Liver?
A fatty liver is the result of the excess fat in liver cells. Fatty tissue slowly builds up in the liver when a person’s diet exceeds the amount of calories that his or her body can handle. A person has a fatty liver when the fat deposits makes up at least 5% of the liver. Simple fatty liver can be a completely benign condition and usually does not lead to liver damage. However, once there is a buildup of simple fat, the liver becomes vulnerable to injury, which may result in inflammation, cirrhosis, fibrosis or liver cancer.
The most common causes of fatty liver disease are obesity, poor diet and a lack of regular physical exercise.
Canada – Newfoundland at 29%
US – Louisiana at 35%
Overweight – Having a BMI (body mass index) of 25 to 30
Obesity – Having a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher
In some regions of the country fatty liver disease has already passed alcohol as the leading cause of liver disease. In Canada, Newfoundland is the province with the highest percentage of people having some degree of liver disease at approximately 40%. In the US, Louisiana is the region.
Fatty liver has been linked with diabetes and insulin resistance. A 2009 study suggests that approximately 70% of people with type-2 diabetes may have fatty liver disease.
Several decades ago obesity was very uncommon; however today more than 50% of Canadians are overweight. It is estimated that 75% of obese individuals are at risk of developing a fatty liver.
What causes fatty liver disease?
– Rapid and repeated weight loss (repeated crash diets) lead to a reduction in daily caloric requirements
– Insulin resistance
– Elevated blood lipids (fat in the blood)
– High blood Pressure
How to prevent and reverse fatty liver disease:
– Lose weight – safely and slowly. This means 1 to 2 lbs per week
– Control blood sugar levels
– Avoid soda of any kind, including diet soda
– Avoid alcohol
– Avoid all fruit juices including no sugar added
– Avoid all processed grains (cereal bars, granola bars, pasta, pastries, etc)
Eat a healthy diet which includes
– Unprocessed vegetables
– Unprocessed lean meats
– Be physical activity; 30 minutes of daily moderate intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking and Include strengthening exercises 2 to 3 times per week.
You can do this!
Source: Liver.ca / CBC / Livestrong / Mayo Clinic
Brian Forsythe of EHF Executive Health And Fitness is a natural competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry.