Liver function blood tests may show that you have signs similar to those found in people who drink a lot of alcohol.
These signs are now occurring more often in people who don’t drink or drink very little.
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NALFD) is a modern day disease, and is the most common cause of liver disease in Australia.
It can be found alongside such conditions as insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and often leads to cardiovascular disease.
The alarming statistics on who has NAFLD
- 30% of Australians
- 40% of Australians over 60
- 15% of men who are NOT overweight
- 15% of school children
These stats are very scary, is it time you checked in on your liver?
Simple ways to support your liver function
- Eliminate sugars particularly fructose
Unlike glucose which we can use for energy, fructose is metabolised by the liver and causes the same type of damage to the liver as alcohol does. Fructose comes from fruits and in the form of 1 or 2 pieces of fresh fruit per day is okay, the problem comes when foods we buy are sweetened with fructose, or drink fruit juices.
- Add more vegetables to your diet
And reduce refined carbs that turn to sugar in your body
- Not eating for 12 hours
Give your body and liver a rest, but do eat at 12 hours as the benefits can be reversed with longer fasts. This can be as simple as eating at 7pm and not eating again until breakfast at 7am
Aerobic exercise is beneficial for insulin resistance, but any exercise or weight loss will benefit fat concentrations in the liver
Vit C and Vit E in particular help reduce the oxidative damage done to the liver
- Omega 3
Helps to reduce inflammation in the liver
- Multistrain probiotics
Improve insulin resistance and lower total cholesterol
Consult a Herbalist
There are a number of herbs which support liver function. Amongst them are St Mary’s Thistle, Dandelion Root, Schisandra, Globe Artichoke and Turmeric.
Choosing the best herb combination will depend on your particular health history. A naturopath or herbalist is trained to be able to choose the herbs most suitable for you. This includes herbs which stand out to help reduce the scarring (fibrosis) of liver.
In NAFLD, inflammation leads to scarring of the liver and loss of function. The level of liver fibrosis has required a biopsy in the past, but can now be estimated using routine blood test results. To find out how your liver is, make an appointment with Maria and bring along a copy of your latest full blood count and liver function results.
Herbalist Maria Mitchell uses an integrated approach combining herbs, essential oils and energy healing to treat stress, pain and related conditions.
Maria Mitchell is a qualified Aromatherapist and Herbalist whose passion has led her into teaching and writing in addition to one on one therapy sessions
You can learn more about Maria here