Why Children and Non-Drinkers Still Need to Pay Attention to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
You might be wondering, isn't liver disease something that only effects alcoholics? And the answer used to be, "yes" for the vast majority of cases - but with the introduction of extremely high amounts of sugar into the American diet, now fatty liver disease is a health issue that effects adults who don't drink alcohol and even young children.
So let's talk about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and what it is, as well as some natural ways to approach the condition. Though there are options for medical and pharmaceutical interventions if things become critical, the key to good health is maintenance, and that is best done via herbs, natural supplementation, exercise, and attitude. Let me explain =)
First, let's get a better understanding of what non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is because it's not caused by eating too much Foie Gras. I wish! In fact, it's when fat accumulates in the liver, causing inflammation and damage. This can be caused by several factors, including obesity, alcohol consumption, and yes, surprise surprise, excess sugar intake!
Once again, the charming devil that is sugar, is the root cause of most affairs with disease. There has been a significant increase in the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in young people due to the uptick in overconsumption of processed foods and sugary drinks. These unhealthy habits can really take a toll on our liver health, leading to a condition that can cause serious health problems down the line.
Eating high amounts of sugar, especially fructose, causes the liver to turn that excess fructose into fat, a process called lipogenesis. If this process happens too frequently, even children can develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which too much fat is stored in the liver cells.
Why does having a fatty liver matter? First off, we need a functioning liver to be healthy. Furthermore, having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is also associated with an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
So, what can we do to combat fatty liver disease? As always, there are plenty of natural and holistic options to explore. Here are some simple tips to get you started:
Avoid sugar! Start by cutting out any sugary drinks and that includes fruit juices like apple and orange juice, which are loaded with fructose.
Incorporate liver-friendly foods into your diet. These include foods like beets, carrots, leafy greens, garlic, and onions, which all have properties that can help support liver health.
Try natural supplements like milk thistle or dandelion root, which can help support liver function and promote detoxification.
Get moving! Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy liver. Even just going for a daily walk or practicing some gentle yoga can make a big difference.
Reduce stress. Stress can take a toll on our overall health, including our liver health. So, make time for relaxation and stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing, or taking a hot bath.
Get plenty of sleep. Our bodies do a lot of important work while we sleep, including detoxifying and repairing our organs. So, make sure you're getting enough restful sleep each night to support your liver health.
Avoid harmful toxins. This includes things like smoking, exposure to chemicals, and excess alcohol consumption.
Remember, our livers are amazing organs that work hard to keep us healthy. By taking care of ourselves and incorporating some natural, holistic approaches to fatty liver disease, we can support our liver health and overall well-being. So, let's fall in love with our liver, and start treating it like we’re responsible for its health and happiness… cause we are.