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Treatment of Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ALD)


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There are several ways of treating alcoholic fatty liver disease, but the most important method is to stop drinking alcohol. This really does mean the total elimination of alcohol – all beer, wine, hard drinks, tonics and everything else that contains alcohol.

Alcohol damages the liver in several ways:

  • When you drink large amounts of alcohol, you begin to lose your appetite. Over time, you end up with vitamin and mineral deficiencies that contribute to the development of fatty liver disease. Studies show that deficiencies of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, methionine, choline, vitamin C, and other B vitamins may be related to fatty liver disease.
  • The high amounts of calories in alcohol can pack on the pounds. Once you are overweight or obese, there is a great risk of developing fatty liver disease.
  • Alcohol damages the liver cells directly. It causes oxidative stress and generates free radicals that attack the liver directly. Free radicals are clearly related to fatty liver disease.
  • Alcohol damages the liver indirectly by increasing the space between the cells in the intestines so that substances can leak out into the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, they make their way back to the liver, and some of these toxins may start an inflammation reaction or directly damage cells.

Giving up alcohol is easier than one may think if you approach it like you can approach giving up other bad habits – looking for the goodness and benefits that will replace what you will miss. For example, what types of activiities are you unable to do now? How’s your endurance? How do you feel when you get up in the morning? Do you ever look into the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful (or handsome)? If not, this is simply where you are now but you won’t be in the same place after your journey to health ends. Look for positive reinforcement along your journey, never the things you are missing.

Part of the treatment for alcoholic fatty liver disease includes switching to a healthy diet. This is a diet full of leafy green vegetables, fruits, wholesome grains, protein foods, and healthy fats without alcohol, sugar, processed foods, and high amounts of salt. You may notice an immediate improvement in the way you feel – within a week – just from a healthier diet. One thing to remember is that your body will respond quickly and it really does want to show you its regeenrative abilities.

Medications may also be used for alcoholic liver disease but no medications have ever been shown to benefit or reverse the condition. 

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