Fatty liver is a form of liver disease that can take mild or severe form depending on cause and course of care. MayoClinic.com describes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, as a common condition that typically has no signs or symptoms initially. Inflammation and scarring of the liver can occur with NAFLD and it can turn into a serious condition known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which progresses to liver failure. Alcohol-induced fatty liver is a similar condition, resulting in excess fat accumulation in the liver cells as well as liver enlargement and symptoms of pain. Alcoholic fatty liver can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. The course of care for either condition is similar depending on the stage of the disease.
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Stop drinking alcoholic beverages immediately. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the liver has resiliency and repairing damage from alcohol abuse is reversible with cessation of drinking. Fatty liver is repairable if scarring is not present. Discuss this with your physician and choose to stop drinking alcohol. Join a support group or get substance abuse counseling to improve your chances of repairing alcoholic fatty liver. If you have nonalcoholic fatty liver, abstain from alcohol as well. The condition will accelerate significantly if you cause unnecessary damage to your liver with alcohol.
Lose excess weight. Lowering your body weight to a healthy range may reverse the disease process. Join a gym, change your diet or simply commit to engaging in physical activity every day. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day by walking, jogging or doing aerobics. Losing 10 to 20 pounds can improve the health of your liver by reducing excess fat.
Start eating a healthier diet, low in saturated fats. Eating foods high in fat makes fatty liver worse. MayoClinic.com suggests eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to add natural antioxidants to your body, which help repair body damage and prevent toxins from attacking your organs. Eat fewer fatty red meats and try lean meats such as chicken or turkey. Bake or grill instead of frying your foods to maintain lower fat consumption. Eat whole grains instead of refined and processed breads, pastas and rice.
Take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements or incorporating fish into the diet can decrease liver fat by reducing the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in your body. Either eat fish such as salmon or tuna twice a week to obtain adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids or find a supplement. Discuss this option with your physician for your safety.
Stop taking medications that are harmful to the liver. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library notes that certain medications can cause further damage to the liver. Over-the-counter medicines with acetaminophen should be avoided. Using illicit drugs also causes further damage. Cessation of toxic medications can also improve liver functioning when incorporated with healthy lifestyle habits such as eating a nutritious diet and doing exercise.