Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Resource for Understanding and Management

NAFLD liver disease

What exactly is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a condition that involves an excess amount of fat built up in your liver. The liver is located on the upper right side of the abdomen.  All the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines passes through the liver.  In fact, a healthy liver filters about 1.7 liters of blood/minute! How cool is that?

The liver has several roles:  

  • Filtration of the blood
  • Aiding in digestion
  • Detoxification
  • Protein synthesis
  • Storage of vitamins and minerals

The scary part about NAFLD is it is not symptomatic at first. However, as time goes on it can progress to a more inflammatory state known as NASH – non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. When this happens, symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, scarring or hardening of the liver, liver failure, and even liver cancer. Yikes! It can be detected early through basic screening bloodwork and evaluated via ultrasound.

Non-alcoholic liver disease can be detected early through basic screening bloodwork and evaluated via ultrasound.

So what are the causes of NAFLD? You may be thinking it is due to being overweight or having too much fat in your diet, and you would be correct! However, you may not be thinking about sugar – and this is a MAJOR contributor to NAFLD. Fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and high fructose corn syrup have been found to induce NAFLD and speed up the transition to NASH if left untreated. We’re talking about processed fruit here (like fruit juice), not fruits in their whole form. Research also points to a strong connection between processed fructose and gut hyperpermeability- aka LEAKY GUT!

Now that we know about NAFLD, let’s reduce the risk and discuss liver disease management:

Weight loss

If you are overweight, a 10% reduction can improve liver health and function.

Reduce processed sugar!

Enjoy occasionally and in moderation.

Daily fish oil

Fish oil has been shown to blunt the development of unhealthy fat in the body. Our Omega Pro Monoglyceride has a three times greater EPA+DHA absorption rate than an equivalent dose of other leading fish oils.

Omega Pro Monoglyceride

Enjoy fruits in their complete form

Fruits contain nutrients that protect the body from abnormal fat storage and are anti-oxidant (removes damaging particles from the body).

Do a simple cleanse

Our Renew Cleanse supports detoxification, helps leaky gut, and is anti-inflammatory.

Consider supplementation

Our Detox Rebalance contains formulas that assist in liver detoxification. Also, NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is a potent detoxifier as well as a wonderful leaky gut support.

Of course, the functional medicine providers at Inspired Health in Bend are here for you! We can help you navigate a NAFLD diagnosis as well as evaluate for the presence of this condition.

Inspired Health - Integrative + Functional Medicine Center Natural Fertility Bend Oregon

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References:

  1. “Definition & Facts of NAFLD & NASH.” 2021
  2. “Liver Anatomy and Functions.” 2022.
  3. “The Liver.” 2022.
  4. “Fructose and Sugar: A Major Mediator of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” 2018