Fatty liver disease is a condition in which patients have excessively high levels of fat in the liver. Although the causes of this disease are not fully understood, doctors believe it is related to obesity, high cholesterol, elevated blood glucose, and insulin resistance. Most patients with fatty liver disease do not have any symptoms, and the condition is typically identified after routine tests conducted for other reasons. If symptoms do appear, they can include fatigue, pain in the upper right area of the abdomen, and an enlargement of the liver.
Physicians currently rely on ultrasounds, CT scans, and elastography in the diagnosis of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease does not have any specific treatment. However, doctors generally recommend weight loss, as this is sometimes enough to resolve the symptoms a patient might be experiencing.
Start With High Fiber Foods
Patients who are just beginning to make dietary changes for liver health are encouraged to start with high fiber foods. Foods with high amounts of fiber can help reduce cholesterol, and high fiber intake is also associated with a reduction in the risk of diabetes. For patients who already have diabetes, consuming high fiber foods can help improve blood glucose control. Men under fifty years old need thirty-eight grams of fiber each day, and women in this age group need twenty-five grams of daily fiber intake.
Foods rich in fiber include brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, avocados, and chia seeds. Sweet potatoes, green peas, acorn squash, broccoli, and oranges also contain lots of fiber. Animal studies have demonstrated broccoli helps reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. Most patients can meet their daily fiber needs through diet, particularly if they are mindful of their vegetable, fruit, and whole-grain intake.