Fatty liver is typically associated with the overconsumption of alcohol, but many sufferers have a different type that’s known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This chronic disease affects up to 25% of Americans every year. Six million children – 10% of children in the country – have fatty liver. Most at risk are those with type 2 diabetes and who are considered medically obese, while many can contract it without those problems.
This is an escalating issue that if unchecked can progress to much more serious conditions such as cirrhosis and liver failure. The consequences for those with a fatty liver are potentially fatal. So what actually is it? Fatty liver occurs when the organ contains 5-10% fat – much more fat than it needs.
Similarly to other liver diseases – such as hepatitis B – fatty liver is a silent disease. There are rarely symptoms, but if they do occur, they include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain,
- Spider-like blood vessels
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Fluid build-up and swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites),
- Mental confusion
The upside is that the problem is completely reversible by changing a person’s behavior. While conventional medicine struggles to successfully treat fatty liver, Traditional Chinese Medicine has fantastic results, and a recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that electroacupuncture (EA) works well to reduce fatty liver in obese women.
Researchers examined 30 participants – all obese women – who were divided into two groups. One group received EA three times a week for three months, the control group maintained their usual exercise and dietary habits. The 15 women in the EA group showed lower volume of hepatic fat fraction – they had lost fat from their livers – while the control group gained fat.
What’s astonishing about fatty liver are the numbers of people who have it, are unable to treat it, and continue to watch their health get worse. Fatty liver is entirely preventable! If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, call the clinic now to schedule your appointment and start your journey to getting a healthy liver.
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