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Fatty Liver Disease

Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease continued...

If you are overweight or obese, do what you can to gradually lose weight -- no more than 1 or 2 pounds a week. A recent study showed that weight loss of at least 9% over a period of months can help reverse NASH. Even less weight loss than this can help lessen buildup of fat in the liver.

Eat a balanced and healthy diet and increase your physical activity. In addition to limiting calories, avoid diets rich in refined, rapidly digested carbohydrates. This includes limiting foods such as bread, grits, rice, potatoes, corn, and concentrated sugar that is found in sports drinks and juice.

Avoiding unnecessary medications can also help slow or reverse the disease. Clinical trials are also looking at the effectiveness of certain antioxidants and newer diabetes medications in treating fatty liver disease (because of disease's link to oxidative stress and diabetes). These include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Betaine
  • Metformin
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Pioglitazone

Note that even vitamins and minerals can lead to health problems. The best way to get their benefits is through food sources that contain them.

New findings about the role of bacteria in the development of fatty liver disease may lead to still other options for treatment, such as by counteracting unbalanced diets with probiotics. These are dietary supplements containing healthy live bacteria or yeasts.

If cirrhosis becomes severe, a liver transplant may be needed. A surgeon removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy one.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 09, 2014
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