Fatty liver or NAFLD is excessive accumulation of lipid in hepatocytes.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes simple fatty infiltration (a benign condition called fatty liver), whereas nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is defined as the presence of fat leading to lipotoxicity and inflammatory damage to hepatocytes. Histologically, NASH is difficult to distinguish from alcoholic hepatitis. Thus to diagnosis NASH, underlying alcohol use must be ruled out. Differentiating simple steatosis from NASH can be difficult without a liver biopsy, and elevated liver enzymes are not a sensitive predictor for identifying NASH.
The presence of metabolic syndrome (obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and glucose intolerance) increases the likelihood that a patient has NASH rather than simple steatosis. Pathogenesis is poorly understood but seems to be linked to insulin resistance (eg, as in obesity or metabolic syndrome). Most patients are asymptomatic. Although noninvasive diagnostic tests are usually sufficient, liver biopsy remains the gold standard. Treatment includes elimination of causes and risk factors; new therapies are rapidly emerging but still in the clinical trial phase. (1)
NAFLD can be caused by multiple medications. (2)
Those are the words of Western Medicine.
What I learned from Functional Medicine and Eastern Medicine…
Eastern Medicine hadn’t recognized NAFLD as a problem or condition, probably because the response to high triglycerides would be to counsel on diet, and prescribe blood sugar and lipid metabolizing herbs. Barberry and Milk Thistle in this study. (3)
But since being enlightened to this incurable condition, Eastern Medicine has Registered NINE Medicines as safe and effective use for NAFLD, including Milk Thistle, all by itself. (4)
The other 8 are herbal blends, most frequently including Hawthorne, Chinese Sage, Japanese Knotweed, Turmeric, Licorice Root, Bupleurum, and Barberry. (5)
Turmeric works in humans. (6)
Licorice works in humans. (7)
Bupleurum works in animal models, and with their long history of observing that it is helpful and safe, they don’t have to wait for large scale human trials to approve it for this new condition. (8)
Hawthorne is most, most frequently used. (9)
Japanese Knotwood works in humans. (10)
Chinese Sage works in animal models too. (11)
Omega 3 Fish Oils significantly improved NAFLD. (12)
These 4 acu-points significantly improved NAFLD. (13)
The dietary counsel, as I understand, would be to eat like an adult.
That means whole foods most of the time, and treats limited to <20% of your calories. You know, the 80/20 rule. You don’t have to count. Just be honest with yourself.
When choosing whole foods, pick what you are most drawn to. You only crave sugar, which is addictive, so you can pick the whole foods you want without worrying about addictions.
And…you need to coordinate carbs with activity levels. If you eat lots of carbs and aren’t very active, you will store fat.
Science-y types labeled that the “intuitive diet” and it has shown to improve physical and psychological health as an approach to diet. (14). I suppose it depends on how intuitive you are!?
Eat like an adult, take your medicine for Liver Health morning and night, and do a couple minutes of acupressure when you take your medicine. Have a daily ritual of moving your body. While Yoga is a tradition more from India, Calisthenics was the preferred movement therapy of ancient eastern wisdom.
Eastern wisdom would advise, “Get your herbs from your doctor! There are scoundrels who try to cut corners and don’t consider others in every culture.” (15)
I’m a doctor. I’m happy to be your doctor if you’d like. I’d recommend getting our Liver Health herbs, and doing acupressure when you take it. If you have this condition.
And always, no matter what your condition is, eat like an adult and have a daily ritual of moving your body. I’m pretty sure you can look and feel your best in 10 minutes a day, with a Metabolic Tune-Up. That’s our patient program, where we look at all your overall health, repair the effects of stress and inflammation, and optimize your health, metabolism, and hormones, based on your Metabolic Profile.
A Metabolic Tune-Up includes our membership site, with movement progressions from rehab to handstands, acupressure protocols for whatever health problem or symptom you might encounter, and simple, easy to throw together whole food recipes that taste good.
Plus, I’m at my patient’s beckon call. If you need me, I will be available. I may do triage, as to the urgency of multiple requests, but I’ll get back to you within 48 hours, regardless.
My vision (five elements language, we might say goal in the US), is your health. I like vision better! I will see you through to your best health, and not disease free, more like looking and feeling your best ever.