This Morning: Michael Mosley discusses 800 calorie diet
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In order to prevent further health complications, such as liver failure, it’s key to identify two of the early warning signs of NAFLD. Spotting the symptoms of the condition can set you on a better path. In the beginning stages of NAFLD, when the liver is marked by inflammation, a change in lifestyle can reverse the condition.
The Mayo Clinic pointed out that one of the earliest warning signs of NAFLD is feeling “pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen”.
Another clue to pay attention to is if you experience fatigue, especially if it can’t be explained by mental or physical exertion.
“Experts don’t know exactly why some people accumulate fat in the liver while others do not,” said the Mayo Clinic.
However, the condition has been linked to: obesity, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and high levels of fats in the blood.
Excess fat stored in the liver behaves as a toxin, causing inflammation.
NAFLD has also been associated with:
- High cholesterol
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood
- Metabolic syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Underactive pituitary gland (hypopituitarism).
An abnormal liver enzyme blood test result can point towards NAFLD.
So too can an “unusual” ultrasound of the blood cleansing organ.
If you suspect you have NAFLD, one of the best ways to prevent its progression is to be mindful of what you eat.
A healthy plant-based diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats is recommended.
The health benefits of a healthy diet must also be supported by maintaining a healthy weight.
You can use the NHS body mass index (BMI) calculator to get a rough guide as to whether you need to maintain or lose weight.
In order to lose weight (if needs be), you will need to burn off more calories than you consume daily.
This can involve eating less food, and shrinking your portion sizes, while working out every day.
Exercise is also a key factor in helping to prevent a build-up of fat in the liver.
The NHS recommends everybody to complete at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.
Should you not adopt healthier lifestyle habits, NAFLD can progress into cirrhosis (i.e. scarring of the liver).
Cirrhosis can lead to end-stage liver failure, which can be fatal.
Scarring of the liver may otherwise lead to liver cancer, which can also be deadly.
Another possible health complication of cirrhosis includes confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech.
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