What is Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and why you might have it

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About 2 years ago I was struggling to lose weight. I tried literally everything! Removed gluten and refined sugars - nothing. Tried Banting - nada. Exercised 4-5 times a week - I built some muscle but the weight (and the fat around my waist) didn't want to budge.  I knew that something was up, so upon returning to South Africa, my dad advised that I go see a Functional Doctor.  A functional doctor is a doctor that doesn't just treat the symptoms, they address the underlying causes of disease.  

I was sent to the lab to get a full blood work-up and we tested for everything, from Thyroid function to Candida.  When my labs came back my doc gave me a call and asked that I come in.  He told me that my liver enzymes (Gamma GT-S) were very elevated and that I also had a very high Triglyceride-S count.  He explained that these are early indicators for a disease called NAFLD or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.  I was stumped. I had never heard about this disease before in my life.  So I went home and Googled the life out of it :-)  Here are some interesting facts I found:

  • It is estimated that between 80-100 MILION people in the US suffer from NAFLD!!!
  • The liver is the second biggest organ in your body and one of the hardest-working organs.  It works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, to produce the bile needed to digest fat, it is essential in the break down of hormones, and it also helps store essential vitamins, minerals and iron.
  • If the liver does not function correctly, the body loses its ability to detoxify and burn fat.
  • Eating right and exercising can often prevent this condition and may even reverse it in its early stages
  • Excess Fructose Is a Leading Cause of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • High doses of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame also damages the liver
  • Stress has also been found to play a role in damage to the liver

NAFLD Symptoms

  • Feeling tired
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss or the inability to lose weight
  • Exessive fat around your belly area
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Bloating
  • Constipation

Fast forward to today.  I had a liver sonar a month ago and I am super excited to say that my liver is 100% clear!  Being diagnosed with NAFLD was a blessing in disguise.  It put me on my path to learning how to listen to my body and to feed it the nutrients it needs to thrive and heal itself.  It also started me on my Health Coaching journey which has literally changed my life and helped me heal my liver.  I am forever grateful for this diagnosis and I hope that this post will inspire you to get yourself tested if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and if you are struggling to lose weight. I will write a follow up post to give you some tips on how I repaired and healed my liver.  Subscribe to my newsletter for more info.

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If you are interested in learning more about NAFLD, here are some links:

  1. http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/09/26/fatty-liver-90-million-americans/
  2. https://draxe.com/liver-disease/
  3. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/11/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease.aspx;
  4. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/are-you-one-80-million-americans-fatty-liver-what-do-now

 

Any liver questions?  Feel free to post in the Comment Section.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Marilene xoxo