Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): A Naturopathic Approach
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered to be the most common liver problem in the western world with 20-30% of the population affected, the vast majority undiagnosed.
NAFLD usually manifests in adults in their 40’s and 50’s. However due to the increase in obesity in teenagers and children, they are also developing NAFLD. It usually displays no symptoms in the initial stages, but as the disease progress, individuals report the following signs and symptoms:
- Discomfort in the upper right abdomen, just below the pectoral area.
- Metabolic syndrome/Insulin resistance/Type 2 Diabetes/High Cholesterol
- Dark/thickened skin around the neck, elbows, knees and knuckles (a sign of insulin resistance)
Essentially a vicious cycle is set up. Free fatty acids get deposited in the liver, making it ‘fatty’. As the liver gets fatty, insulin resistance increases and the function of the liver is damaged. This then makes the liver accumulate more fat…and so the cycle causes further liver disruption.
A fatty liver leads to the following processes becoming ‘below par’:
- Metabolism of carbohydrates and conversion of sugars to fat.
- Protein metabolism being below par can lead to disruption of the blood’s ability to clot
- Fat metabolism being below par can lead to high cholesterol/triglycerides and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Bile is produced by the liver to get rid of excess fat. NAFLD disrupts this process, making the liver more fatty.
- The liver produces male and female hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, so hormones are imbalanced if liver function deteriorates.
A Naturopathic approach to reducing the signs and symptoms of NAFLD would be to encourage beneficial dietary and lifestyle changes, regulate blood glucose, improve liver function, reduce liver inflammation and improve digestive processes. EASY!
Do you, or a member of your family, or a friend have a recent diagnosis of NAFLD? Or do you suspect you have the signs and symptoms of the disease?
If you’d like to follow a Naturopathic path to improving your liver function then call reception on 0208 673 2163 to book your appointment.