You have probably already heard about the scourge of NASH commonly known as “soda disease”.
We are also talking about fat liver disease.
NASH or Non-Alcoholic-Steato-Hepatosis is silent disease.
It is an accumulation of fat in the liver that leads to cirrhosis without alcoholism.
There are no real symptoms other than severe fatigue, abdominal weight gain and skin problems.
Adolescents who consume large quantities of sugars, particularly via soft drinks, therefore suffer from cirrhosis without ever having drunk a drop of alcohol.
The liver gets fatter, can no longer filter properly and the abdomen becomes fat.
As sugar addiction is becoming more common in people of all ages, the disease is progressing rapidly.
What are the causes?
-Excess sugar and carbohydrates (sodas, pasta, pizzas, sweets)
-Excessive alcohol (binge drinking) without being alcoholic
-Excess saturated fat (frying, fast food, cakes, palm oil)
-Poor lifestyle (smoking, lack of sleep, drugs, medication)
-Lack of fibre (fruit and vegetables)
-Lack of water
How do you know if you have it?
-A simple control blood test is enough at the beginning.
-A liver check up by blood test will show increased transaminases and Gamma GT
-An ultrasound of the liver will show an increased volume of the liver that sometimes becomes very large
-Liver biopsy will confirm the diagnosis
-Very often the blood cholesterol level is also increased
What are the risks?
-Diabetes can develop in parallel, and the increase in triglycerides and bad cholesterol often goes with Nash. This can lead to strokes.
-Cirrhosis is the final stage, liver cells no longer function.
NASH is divided into 4 stages:
-Stage 1: fat vesicles are observed in 5 to 25% of hepatocytes
-Stage 2: when 25% to 50% of hepatocytes are steatosed
-Stage 3: when the rate reaches 50% to 75% of the cells
-Stage 4: when steatosis occurs in more than 75% of hepatocytes (fibrosis and cirrhosis)
Stages 1 to 3 are still reversible, it is possible to empty the fats stored in the liver.
Liver transplantation is the last option when the liver is too affected.
Often the disease is discovered when the stage is advanced, hence the importance of preventive controls in people at risk. Especially children who drink sodas, overweight people, people with abdominal fat and who drink alcohol frequently.
What is the treatment?
There are no drugs that can repair the damage done to the liver.
In order to free the liver from its excess fat, it is necessary to:
-Detox your body, read here how
-Help the liver to filter by taking detoxifying plants such as milk thistle, black radish.
-Remove white sugar and alcohol for several months
-Reduce bad fats (cold cuts, frying, cheese, pastries)
-Recover a healthy lifestyle
-Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
-Drink plenty of water to filter
-Exercise on a daily basis and practice more sport and activities to use up your liver sugar stock.
It is also possible to practice intermittent fasting or a water fast of several days to be done under medical supervision. Liver cells are renewed but they need a total cease of sugar and alcohol to regenerate every 300 to 500 days.
People at risk are adolescents who consume a lot of sugar and practice binge drinking, overweight people, people with high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes.
It is essential not to give children soft drinks but water at the table.
Fortunately, this disease is reversible if you start early (stage 1 to 3) and completely change your lifestyle.
Article Written by Elsa Orivel RD Dietician at Foodvisor.