In order to prevent cirrhosis (i.e. scarring of the liver), you need to address the “root cause”, said the British Liver Trust, to enable the liver to repair itself. “For most people with NAFLD [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease] this means losing weight through healthy eating and physical activity,” the charity stated. The less damage that the liver has sustained, the easier it is for the liver to heal and regenerate.
People classified as “overweight” would benefit from losing up to 10 percent of their bodyweight.
For example, if you weigh 14 stone (89kg), it would be helpful to lose 10 pounds (5kg), which is less than one stone.
In order to lose weight in a healthy way, aim to lose between 0.5 to two pounds each week.
This means you could, potentially, lose 10 pounds in five weeks, which will bring about numerous health benefits.
“They have access to more specialist teams and will consider a range of treatments that may include medicines or surgery,” the British Liver Trust pointed out.
Do tell your doctor if you are experiencing warning signs of a scarred liver.
Such symptoms include tiredness and discomfort in the upper right of the abdomen.
Furthermore, any yellowing of the eyes and skin warrant urgent medical attention.
Also seek medical advice if you experience any of the following, and you happen to be overweight:
- Bruising easily
- Dark urine
- Swelling of the lower tummy area (ascites)
- Vomiting blood (haematemesis)
- Dark black tarry faeces (melena)
- Periods of confusion or poor memory (encephalopathy)
- Itching skin (pruritus).
In addition to obesity, there are other factors that make fatty liver disease more likely.
Such factors include type 2 diabetes, an underactive thyroid, high cholesterol, and being resistant to insulin.
In a small number of people, NAFLD is not linked to excess weight.
In those circumstances, NAFLD is usually attributed to rare genetic conditions, prolonged fasting, rapid weight loss, starvation, or bariatric surgery.
If you would like to check your risk of fatty liver disease, you can take the British Liver Trust screening.
As well as maintaining a healthy weight and eating a varied, balanced diet, you can also protect your liver by not drinking alcohol.
Each time the liver processes a unit of alcohol, liver cells are destroyed.