Fatty liver is the most common chronic liver disease in Germany. You can find out here which symptoms you have, which diet is good in the case of fatty liver and which diet is good for the liver to prevent fatty liver.
The liver is our main organ for metabolism. However, over the course of many years, we can develop fatty liver due to improper diet, alcohol or too little exercise. You can find out everything about the symptoms, consequences and which diet is good for the liver here.
Fatty liver: The widespread disease of the western world
The non-alcoholic fatty liver
“Only alcoholics get a fatty liver”, some people might say now – but far from it. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide. In Europe, it is estimated that about 30 percent of the total population is affected, according to the Nutrition Review. That’s quite a lot.
“Only alcoholics get fatty liver”, some people might say – but far from it. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide. According to estimates, around 30 percent of the total population in Europe are affected, according to the Nutrition Review. That’s quite a lot.
The reasons are varied. On the one hand, fatty liver is now more often recognized as such, on the other hand, our lifestyle has changed drastically and we are getting older. Fatty liver is favored by other diseases such as diabetes and obesity, so the right diet is also important for the liver.
More rarely, malnutrition with too little protein or rapid weight loss can also lead to fatty liver.
Fortunately, there is still something you can do to prevent fatty liver in its early stages. Liver cirrhosis, i.e. scarring of the liver, can occur in the final stage of fatty liver. A transplant is often the only thing that can help, but of course it doesn’t have to get that far.
Overall, women are more likely to be affected by fatty liver than men, but non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is ultimately a disease of affluence, so it occurs primarily in rich countries.
The alcoholic fatty liver
In addition to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there is also alcohol-related disease. This variant is far better known, but is much less common. The cause of alcoholic fatty liver is alcohol abuse.
Again, women are more vulnerable. On average, a woman should not drink more than 12 g of alcohol (equivalent to 0.25 liters of beer) per day, for a man it is 24 g (0.5 liters of beer).
But it also doesn’t help that you do without during the week and then drink a lot of beer or wine at the weekend – with that you have reached the cut again and the liver has to break it down all at once.
Symptoms of fatty liver: Hardly recognizable at first
Liver disease is very insidious, because if you suffer from fatty liver, you may not realize for years that something is wrong in your stomach. Symptoms are rare in the first stage of fatty liver.
The liver values do not initially sound the alarm either. It’s only when the liver becomes inflamed that you know you have a problem. There are three levels of fatty liver, writes the NDR:
Stage 1: fatty liver without inflammation
Stage 2: Inflamed fatty liver (in about 50 percent)
Stage 3: Liver cirrhosis (in about 10 percent)
However, since the correct symptoms only show up to a limited extent, it is difficult to recognize the disease. Only frequent tiredness and difficulty concentrating could indicate fatty liver as symptoms.
In addition, as a symptom of fatty liver, there can be a feeling of fullness in the upper right abdomen, since the liver swells due to the fatty accumulation and the surrounding organs are slowly pushed away. Sometimes the doctor can detect fatty deposits when palpating the abdomen, but fatty liver can also be identified via ultrasound.
The liver values only increase as a result of the inflammation. Symptoms of hepatitis (jaundice) can also occur in the second stage. The doctor can use a transient elastography using ultrasound to determine whether the scarring of the liver is already far advanced or whether there is a possibility that it will happen.
If fatty liver is not recognized or treated, liver failure can also lead to cardiovascular disorders, and in the worst case even to a heart attack. The fatty liver can no longer fulfill its metabolic function, which also causes problems with blood clotting.
In addition, you can bruise easily, and the symptoms of jaundice can also occur with liver failure. But what can you do before that?
Fatty liver diet: How to get rid of it
If you’ve been diagnosed with fatty liver, the world isn’t over yet. Luckily, if you don’t already have scarring, you can get rid of fatty liver with the right diet. You can’t get rid of a fatty liver with medication.
First, you should refrain from any alcohol. Likewise, high-sugar drinks like soda aren’t good for the liver, so you should focus on drinking water, tea, and coffee.
If it has to be something else, you can drink a well-diluted juice spritzer. The rest of the fatty liver diet should be as low in calories and fat as possible. So eat lots of vegetables and low-sugar fruit, lean meat or low-fat dairy products.
Products with white flour are also not so good for fatty liver nutrition. Potatoes, rice, corn and whole grain products also consume a lot of insulin and are therefore not very suitable.
Combined with enough exercise, you can eat really tasty food and get healthy again at the same time. The falling pounds are on top. If the fatty liver is not in an early stage, the liver can recover within a few weeks or months.
Good for the liver: What can prevent fatty liver
It is good for the liver to take the active ingredient inulin. It supports the metabolic function of the liver. Root vegetables, for example, contain inulin. You can also find it in dandelions, artichokes or chicory.
With at least 10,000 steps a day – preferably with a bit of sport as well – you are on the safe side in terms of movement and then you don’t have to worry. Combined with a balanced diet, you are on the right track.
If you then do without alcohol or only consume moderately, this is of course also good for the liver.
In the case of diabetics, on the other hand, a doctor should adjust the blood sugar level correctly to prevent fatty liver.