As weight continues to increase in our population the increase of diseases that stem from overweight continue to rise. There are currently 4 million adults with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is when fat accumulates in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. A recent study in the June issue of Hepatology reports that a glass of wine a day is good for your liver. Just one drink per day can help prevent NAFLD cutting your risk in ½ compared to those who don’t drink at all.
Your liver performs many necessary functions for your body such as; maintain glucose concentrations in your blood, remove toxins, and synthesizes proteins. You will not live without your liver functioning. Not dealing with abnormal fat in your liver can lead to liver cirrhosis (irreversible scaring) or liver cancer.
Risk Factors for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:
*Overweight (Particularly those with a BMI that labels them obese)
*Insulin Resistant or Diabetic
High Blood Pressure
(*almost always present)
You may not have any symptoms at all with NAFLD. Many people find out they have a fatty liver when tests come back with results for some other medical issue that is being investigated. If you have any of the symptoms below you may want to talk with your doctor. These symptoms are listed in increasing severity.
Dull ache in your upper right abdomen
Weight loss, lack of appetite, or nausea
Weakness and fatigue
Yellowing of skin or eyes
Loss of libido
Dark Brown Urine
Itching on hands and feet
Fluid retention — swelling of legs and feet
Mental confusion — trouble concentrating
An MRI is best for diagnosing; your doctor may also recommend a biopsy.
Control diabetes with insulin sensitizing agents
Take cholesterol lowering medicine
The American Heart Association defines moderate drinking as one 4 ounce glass of wine per day for women or two 4 ounce glasses of wine per day for men. You cannot save all your drinks for 1 big bash. Binge drinking is never safe or healthy.
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