Ask the Expert – Loving Your Liver
Often overlooked, liver is one of the major organs in the body as it performs critical functions to keep the body pure of toxins and other harmful substances. It also manufactures the essential proteins, process and store nutrients. Health Medhatter Priscilla Peck speaks to Dr Mark Fernarndes on ways to love our liver.
There are mainly two types of fatty liver disease:
- Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD)
- Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Symptoms for these are usually not obvious and you wouldn’t consider it as a serious condition in the early years.
Overtime, you may have symptoms such as:
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Confusion, poor judgment, or trouble concentrating
1. Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD)
As the name implies, you can get fatty liver disease from drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time, or through binge drinking. If you’re a heavy drinker, the higher the chance of getting fatty liver in a shorter period of time.
Other causes that can increase your chances of getting ALD include:
- Hepatitis C
- Too much iron in your body
- Being obese
2. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is the build up of extra fats in the liver that is not caused by alcohol, as opposed to ALD. While it is normal for the liver to contain some fats, if anything more than 5% – 10% of the liver’s weight is fat, it is considered a fatty liver.
It is more likely occur on individuals who are overweight, obese, have high cholesterol or diabetes.
So what can one do to prevent liver diseases?
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Adopt a healthy diet
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Only take medicines that you need and follow dose recommendations
Other than cutting down on those fried and oily food, limit your consumption of high carb foods such as bread, rice, and potatoes. If you’re a soft drink lover, cut down on those sport drinks or high sugar content beverages. Even juices should be limited because fruits contain a fairly high amount of sugar.