The Next Big Scare In Liver Health!

By Asia Muhammad, ND

Gastroenterologists and hepatologists are predicting that in the next 15 years, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) will be the leading reason for liver transplants, displacing alcoholism and hepatitis C.

Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term that encompasses excess body weight, elevated blood sugar, elevated lipid levels, and elevated blood pressure. NAFLD is the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Over 80% of those with metabolic syndrome have NAFLD, with the highest association being related to obesity. NAFLD is typically found on ultrasound and other imaging modalities. Currently there is no FDA-approved drug to treat NAFLD. Diet and exercise at this time have the most robust data towards improving and reversing NAFLD.

Subjects with NAFLD have an increased risk of developing inflammation of the liver due to excess fat being stored in the liver. When a subject develops NAFLD related inflammation, the condition is then called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The development of NASH increases risk of further liver damage such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Routine blood work can assess liver function however normal liver enzymes does not rule out liver damage. I have seen cirrhosis patients with liver enzymes within the normal range. A liver biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing liver disease, including NAFLD. The overwhelming majority of NAFLD patients that I have managed were diagnosed based on abdominal ultrasound, or CT scan.

The most problematic food ingredient in those with NAFLD is high fructose corn syrup. Sodas and sweetened beverages such as juices are typically sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Non fructose sugar is also problematic where NAFLD is concerned.

Exercise has also been shown to have significant effects for reversal of NASH. Weight loss of 7-10% body weight is associated with reductions of fat in the liver and improvement of liver appearance under microscope.

If you or anyone you know is suffering with any component of metabolic syndrome or gastrointestinal issues, I offer free 15-minute consultations to discuss the role of naturopathic medicine in the improvement and liver and intestinal health.

I have treated thousands and thousands of gastrointestinal and liver patients with success using naturopathic medicine. I would love to work with you! Let’s talk. Call 314.409.8834 or visit www.lavenderrootshw.com

Asia Muhammad, ND
Naturopathic Doctor
Lavender Roots Health & Wellness, LLC