Last week, I got two e-mails asking me about fatty liver. One of the women told me she was overweight and the other woman said she was normal weight. Both had no symptoms, but were told that they had fatty liver (or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/NAFLD). This is not at all uncommon, in fact, 1 in 4 Americans have fatty liver, many with no symptoms and a percentage of them are normal weight. Why is fatty liver on the rise and what can we all do to support our livers (our organ of detoxification and methylation):
First, Let’s Talk About Fructose (Or High Fructose Corn Syrup)
One of the major contributors to fatty liver and highly prevalent in processed food, soda and juices.
Fructose decreases your sense of fullness and satiety. You will have to eat much more than you need to feel full if you are consuming fructose. Our body and brain gets energy from glucose (blood sugar). Glucose creates fullness a lot faster. (If you don’t feel satisfied after you eat, it’s a sign of potential fatty liver issues). Your body doesn’t recognize fructose as nutrition and therefore, is still hungry.
Think about soda and juices. Just because it doesn’t show HFCS on label, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it. (e.g., Oceanspray 100% cranberry is high fructose).
Once fructose gets into the liver, there is no metabolic conversion for it. Instead, it’s converted into bad fatty acids.
Fructose consumes your body’s ATP (energy) and makes you feel tired. It also increases uric acid production (think gout).
Ask yourself the following questions:
How many cups of each do you drink on average daily?
____ soda pop
___ fruit juice
___ water (are you hydrated?)
___ black tea (caffeine)
___ green tea (caffeine)
Ask yourself these questions about signs or stress and drivers of fatty liver:
- ‘Do I tend to feel full and satisfied after a meal?’
- ‘Do I find myself snacking often throughout the day?’
- ‘When stressed, do I tend to eat more?’
- ‘What are my main stressors?
- ‘How often do they occur?’
- ‘Do I go to bed and wake up at a usual timeframe – within an hour or so?
Steps to Reduce Fatty Liver
- Stop Soda & Fruit Juice
- Reduce Stress
- Reduce or eliminate sugar and fructose
- Reduce or eliminate processed foods
- Beware of high carb diets or cravings for high carb foods
- Take adaptogens (holy basil, ashwaganda, schisandra, ginseng, rhodiola)
- Consider magnesium (especially magnesium taurate for fatty liver) and minerals (electrolytes)
- Consider supplements like: Acetyl-L-carnitine, PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, which protects the liver and fish oil (EPA/DHA), milk thistle, berberine and curcumin.
- Consume chia seeds
- If you are tired and need a lot of caffeine, consider L-tyrosine instead (L-tyrosine is an energizing, mood-lifting and motivating supplement – make sure you don’t have migraines if you are considering this and take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach!)
- If you are depressed, consider 5-HTP.
- Do breathing exercises.
- Consider occasional liver cleansing. I have Free “Gentle Detox Tips” podcast available when you sign up for my newsletter.
- Work with your health practitioner on all of this and also, to check for any hidden pathogens that may contribute to inflammation, pain and related symptoms.
What are you doing to support your liver?
Have you listened to my free Gentle Tips for Detox podcast?
What are your questions?
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