Thirty percent of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and don’t know it. It is asymptomatic until it has progressed to hepatitis (NASH) and mostly doctors are not looking for it. Before 1990, liver disease was rare and confined primarily to alcoholics or drug abusers. The recent upsurge coincides with the increase in obesity and metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, low LDL, high triglycerides, and belly fat). Even children are being diagnosed with NAFLD. The good news is that it is reversible because the liver can regenerate.
If you are overweight, tired, have low HDL and high triglycerides and high VLDL, with elevated liver enzymes you may have NAFLD. The cause for concern is that it can lead to NASH with the eventual need for a liver transplant. The sad part is that most people would make the necessary diet and lifestyle changes to reverse the NAFLD if they knew they had it–and there is the added benefit of dropping weight!
Simple, routine blood work (metabolic panel and a cholesterol panel) are very useful for assessing the risk of NAFLD. Bring your blood results to us for a nutrition consult and we will help you with dietary and lifestyle recommendations for getting your liver back into good working condition.