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Fatty liver can be avoided and cured through diet and exercise
The liver suffers quietly. A fatty liver is usually an accident on ultrasound. It is triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle, too much alcohol and little exercise. The fatty liver is considered a trigger for malignant cancer. Therefore, those affected should take action. However, it is reversible in early stages.
Every third German has a fatty liver
According to health experts, more than a third of Germans have fatty liver. In the past, alcohol and fatty foods were the main causes of fatty liver. But in recent years it has been shown that the most common liver disease in Germany is triggered more and more often by a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet. Since our liver suffers in silence, many sufferers have no idea of their illness, which can have serious consequences.
Lack of exercise makes you sick
"The causes, which mostly lead to fatty liver disease in combination, include wrong diet, lack of exercise and obesity, heavy alcohol consumption or an existing diabetes mellitus", explains Professor Dr. Michael P. Manns, CEO of the German Liver Foundation, in a release published by the Science Information Service (idw).
But: “A fatty liver disease can also be caused by rare genetic causes. This should be taken into account especially in slim patients with pronounced fatty liver. "
As the message says, liver experts agree that only a visit to the doctor can be certain.
In order for a diseased liver to be discovered at an early stage of the disease and to be healed by a changed lifestyle, it is important to test the liver blood values. However, this is usually not part of routine examinations.
Overweight people and patients with diabetes mellitus in particular should therefore address and clarify a possible liver disease when visiting a doctor.
Fatty liver can lead to cancer
Medical professionals distinguish between a non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and an alcoholic fatty liver (AFL) - it is often difficult to make a clear distinction.
In the first stage of the disease, both variants of the disease are pure fatty liver, which has no inflammatory reactions.
In the second phase, which every second affected person develops, the liver already shows inflammatory reactions, one speaks of steatohepatitis.
This fatty liver hepatitis can lead to liver fibrosis (increase in connective tissue) and, in the further course, liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
Liver cell cancer is also one of the possible complications of an inflamed fatty liver.
No recognized drug treatment
So far there is no recognized drug treatment for fatty liver.
“Currently, various drugs with different principles of action are in different stages of development. In any case, reducing body weight leads to a reduction in liver fat and fibrosis, ”explains Professor Manns.
This direct connection between body weight, fitness level and liver health is confirmed by more and more current study results.
In most cases, a weight reduction of more than ten percent causes the regression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and an improvement in liver fibrosis.
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), together with colleagues from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, also reported a few years ago that fasting can quickly break down fatty liver. (sb, ad)