There’s a lot of love to celebrate during the month of February. However, some of the things we love are bad for our overall health. One of these areas is our obsession with the “western diet,” which is high in fats, sugars, and everything that harms our bodies over time. Even worse, this unhealthy form of love fuels a fatty liver epidemic that’s rising in America.
Expanding Waistlines and Decreasing Health
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when the fat accumulates in the liver for reasons that are not related to alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some amount of fat. However, when more than 5% – 10% percent of the liver cells contain fat, it is called a fatty liver (steatosis). Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more severe form of NAFLD. NASH can cause the liver to swell and become damaged, eventually leading to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.
Common Causes of Liver Disease:
- Autoimmune disease
- Poor diet
- Obesity and sedentary lifestyle
- Reactions to medications
- Street drugs
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Self-Love is Good for Your Liver Too.
The greatest form of self-love is making sure you have a healthy body. To love yourself means making sure what you put into your body is healthy and staying physically active. Exercise is powerful medicine. It not only helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps prevent your body from developing certain diseases. Physical movement gets your heart pumping, which helps improve the circulation of oxygenated blood rich in vital nutrients to every working part of our body. The CDC recommends an exercise regimen of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and proper diet are great for your liver too. Not only can you potentially prevent liver disease from developing, but you can also slow, stop, or reverse the progression of the disease in individuals living with it. The team here at Arizona Liver Health hopes you’ll be inspired to love yourself a little more by making healthier choices this February and beyond.
To learn how participating in research can help individuals currently living with liver disease, contact us at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website today!