Non-alcoholic fatter liver disease (NAFLD) is near and dear to my heart. Let’s just say we go waaay back.
Before I get to how we “met,” let me give you a simple breakdown on the disease… It’s present when there’s unusual accumulation of fatty deposits in the liver.
As fat builds up in the liver, the liver isn’t able to function properly, which can lead to scarring and additional damage and complications which can lead to:
- fluid accumulation
- liver cancer
- bleeding in the gastrointestinal track
- changes in mood and thought processes
That’s why it’s important for people to follow a healthy diet, endorsed by doctors and medical community for people with NAFLD.
This special diet has been shown to help lessen damage and slow progression of the disease.
Think about it: everything we consume gets filtered in the liver, so when we eat foods that aren’t healthy, it simply speeds the progression of NAFLD.
One of the risk factors that’s seen in people with NAFLD is obesity. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was “heavy” I was totally in denial that I was actually obese.
That’s when my internist pulled me aside and told me I needed to lose weight. I didn’t really think I had a “problem” until she showed me the body mass index chart (every doctor has one). She didn’t mince words and told me that I absolutely needed to lose weight.
That’s when she also told me that my liver enzymes were abnormal and diagnosed me with NAFLD.
Of course, my internist asked me how much alcohol I consumed, which is mild (1, 4-5 ounce glass of red wine with dinner most evenings), so we knew that wasn’t the cause. But I was indeed obese.
At 5 feet 5 inches, I weighed 200 pounds. And to make a long story short, I lost weight—the healthy way—and have kept off 55 pounds for eight years.
I consider that to be monumental because most people gain all of their weight back (and then some) after just two years. But enough about me!
I’d like to direct you to a site that you might find helpful if you’ve been diagnosed with NAFLD.
Of course, your doctor will give you advice and most likely will tell you what types of modifications you should make to your diet. Low sodium, no alcohol, no trans fats. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and plenty of leafy green vegetables, (all fruits and vegetables are great choices) fish, seafood, whole grains, whole foods, avoid processed foods.
Most Americans tend to eat a significant amount of red meat, pork, and chicken. I’m not fan of consuming any animals, fish is as far as I can go.
And remember: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Of course, stay hydrated, drinking 6-8, 8oz glasses of water daily–and talk to your doctor!
NAFLD can be reversed by following a healthy diet.
But most importantly, please consult your doctor about changes to make to your diet and recommendations about lifestyle changes as well.
Keep your chin up. Find help. Get support. Change your diet.
It works. You can do it!