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How to Reverse a Fatty Liver
Probably the most frequently asked question about fatty liver is this: Can I drink alcohol if I have a fatty liver?
The answer is no, and I’ll explain why a little later. And just for the record, everything I recommend here such as not drinking alcohol is what I personally do, too. After knowing how the liver hurts and what hurts it, I won’t drink any alcohol – or recommend it.
What is a fatty liver? Why does it happen? What are the symptoms? What can I do about it? These are the next questions that are most frequently asked. Keep reading and you’ll find out…
Your Liver Is an Amazing Miraculous Organ!
Your liver weighs about 3-1/2 pounds. It’s located on the right side of your body, in the front near the bottom of your ribs.
It has over 500 different functions, including working with your immune system, detoxifying chemicals, and building proteins and hormones. If you counted the cells in the liver, you’d have 50,000-100,000 units of cells that are doing all the work.
Interestingly, 90% of your liver could be destroyed and yet, you would still be functioning pretty well. This is an example of the idea that how you feel doesn’t have a direct correlation to your health. You could feel good but still have liver damage.
One thing we know now is that it’s how you live – your lifestyle habits – that predict how healthy your liver is.
Symptoms of Liver Damage
The symptoms of liver damage include:
White of the eyes turns yellow
Itching on palms and soles
Basketball belly (a big belly that looks like there’s a basketball in the abdomen)
Stages of Liver Damage
Your liver doesn’t go from healthy to unhealthy overnight. There are different stages where it degenerates.
Stage 1 – Inflammation
Inflammation results from a virus attack on the body, bad eating, or alcohol consumption. Every time you drink, it creates a trauma and kills liver cells. Every time you take medications, you kill liver cells. Even the drug, Lipitor, increases liver enzymes 500%. One of the big side effects of Lipitor is liver damage.
Stage 2 – Fatty deposits lodge in the liver
When this happens, the liver cells are replaced with fat. A fatty liver needs a biopsy to detect it although if a health practitioner is using an ultrasound on a large belly, a fatty liver may be detected.
Stage 3 – Cirrhosis
Over time, scar tissue replaces the dysfu nctional cells, which leads to cirrhosis. Then fibrosis comes in and there would be loss of liver function.
Stage 4 – Affects Other Organs
When the liver swells, it causes pressure on the heart, causing arrhythmias, which means erratic heartbeats. High blood pressure and a high heart rate also occur. When there’s swelling of the liver, patients are told not to sleep on their left side because this increases the pressure on the organs and compresses the heart. Sleeping on the right side is recommended if you have liver issues.
A Fatty Liver Needs Time to Heal
The liver is one of the only organs in the body that can completely regenerate, but the process is slow – it may take up to three years.
The worst advice you could get for a fatty liver is to eat everything in moderation, because one alcoholic drink could take four days for your liver to recover. You can’t heal the liver if you do things in moderation such as alcohol. Let the liver recover completely by staying away from alcohol.
Often, people misunderstand this principle. One patient I had was on my Liver Enhancement Program and he successfully lost weight for two weeks, and then stopped the program. He called and said the program didn’t work. I explained to him that he had to do it longer. He thought the liver would be healed in two weeks. It takes much longer!
2 Simple Steps to Reverse a Fatty Liver
1. Stop the things that are destroying the liver.
It’s so important to eliminate things from your life and diet that are destroying your liver. This means NO alcohol – it destroys the liver. You can’t get away with drinking every night.
The liver does not do well with deep-fried foods. Corn oil and hydrogenated oils are BAD.
2. Add the things that heal the liver.
Kombucha tea is a good replacement for alcohol – it helps you feel relaxed and calm. It has all the same effects as the alcohol you want without the damage – and it helps you heal your liver.
The bitter vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, dandelion, kale, and radishes – the real bitter foods heal the liver. The more bitter they are, the better. Consume them on a regular basis. If you can’t seem to get them down, go with a vegetable blend such as the one I created for my patients called Organic Cruciferous Food.
The vegetables that are the best are included in this cruciferous blend formula – garlic, turmeric, parsley (has the most vitamin A of any vegetables), Brussels sprouts, kale (has the second most vitamin A of the vegetables), and cabbage.
Your liver needs a certain type of fat called a medium chain triglyceride or MCT. One of the best sources is coconut oil, which takes the strain off the liver. Butter is good, too.
ACV in water, 1 teaspoon a few times a day can help strip off the fat from the liver. It cleans out some of the toxic wastes in the liver (and some of the fat).
The B vitamins are also important. Vitamin B2, choline, and folate are the B vitamins that help your liver regenerate over time.
Bottom line: You have to take an aggressive approach and heal your liver. Give it time. Be patient. Your liver will heal.
See the importance of your liver and see more Nutrition advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.