Fatty Liver and Ayurveda
If excess fat cells accumulate in the liver, it might lead to a disorder in the organ, explains Mr. Ajith Kumar, Principal Consultant of Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore. He explains that if we do not take proper care of the liver, it might deteriorate over a period but if proper measures are taken at the right time, the condition can be set right. According to Ayurveda, an imbalance in the Kapha and pitta dosha, or an elevated Kapha dosha in pitta-dominant regions, causes this condition.
The Physician explains that fat accumulates in the liver if you consume too much alcohol. The liver gets inflamed when the cells in the organ retain unusually excessive amounts of lipids. All these deteriorate the liver and make it fat. When this condition sets in, the organ loses its ability to expel the extra fat from the body. Thus, the cycle continues.
The consultant of Ayurveda adds that the large organ’s function is also affected due to non-alcoholic reasons. No one can define the cause of why the liver turns fat but according to several research studies it is caused due to various kinds of factors, explains Ajith Kumar. Let us explore some of them.
Obesity or being very heavy affects our health in many ways. Being on the leaner side has its own advantages and does away with the need for pharmacies or a medical store. Being obese also indicates that the body is unable to maintain the right fat-muscle ratio. This condition stresses the bones. How does this affect the liver?
Answers Mr. Ajith:
Turns us a little lethargic as we will find it difficult to move freely.
Doing exercises becomes tedious.
Causes fat to build up in the abdomen. Not only these but we will also have to deal with a slew of health issues.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes affects the level of insulin in the body and at the same time leads to the accumulation of fat in the liver. It might also result in building up scar tissues in the liver, says Mr. Ajith Kumar.
As stated earlier by the Ayurvedic consultant, excess alcohol does end up in the liver becoming fat and hampers its normal functioning. Especially, it affects the way the organ metabolizes fat. As a result, the liver fails to eliminate excess fat from its cells and this causes many complications.
High Triglycerides Levels in the blood
When the levels of triglycerides circulating in the blood become high, it leads to the accumulation of fat in the liver. This is a significant factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver conditions. Let us now move on to the symptoms of the fatty liver condition.
Abdominal Pain: If pain in the abdomen persists for many days, it is better to approach a physician for it might be due to a fatty liver condition, suggests Mr. Ajith Kumar.
The feeling of fullness: For no reason, some people might suddenly lose their appetite. They will be more than happy with just a few servings of food. Don’t you think, this is unusual? Asks Mr. Ajith. He goes on to explain that it might be due to an underlying liver condition. Some people even feel nauseous and begin to feel weak over a period of time, warns the Ayurvedic consultant.
Weight loss: Obviously, the next phase is weight loss, followed by fatigue. This means that the weight loss is one that has occurred on its own without any effort from your side, such as exercises or dieting. This kind of weight loss also might be due to the accumulation of fat in the liver, informs Mr. Ajith Kumar.
The consultant of Ayurveda elaborates that if the liver is very badly affected then symptoms of jaundice like pale skin, and yellowing of the eyes sets in. Bloating, swollen abdomen, and edema of the legs may be present in some cases. Added to it, if there is also weight loss, then it is very important to get the liver tested, advises Mr. Ajith.
Suggestions by the consultant of Ayurveda are:
Consulting a physician as soon as symptoms set in;
Try to determine the exact cause of your condition;
Carry out necessary tests;
Stick to the schedule and guidance given by the physician to see the improvement.
Mr. Ajith gives us some tips about home remedies to heal a fatty liver. He says that if the condition is in its early stages, the disease can be controlled with small adjustments in our lifestyle and dietic interventions. Some of his suggestions are:
Try to take Aloe vera as it helps to purify the blood and improve liver function. It can be taken with warm water to improve taste. Next, we should try to reduce the fat in our diet to lessen the strain on the liver in fat metabolism.
The consultant goes on to explain sugar avoidance is the key to a good liver. If you have a sweet tooth and find it difficult to avoid sugar, try substitutes like jaggery or honey, suggests Mr. Ajith Kumar.
Next, he prefers a fiber-rich diet to boost the body’s metabolism. Mr. Ajith explains that fiber cleanses the gut and internal organs too, promotes liver function, and a check on body weight. Added to it, if you also abstain from alcohol, don’t you think you can steer clear of malfunctioning of the liver, asks the Ayurvedic consultant.
Some of the common foods recommended by the consultant include Apple cider vinegar and papaya. While apple cider vinegar cuts down on fat and promotes liver function, the humble papaya helps improve fatty liver conditions naturally.
The consultant of Ayurveda suggests some Ayurvedic medicines to heal a fatty liver.
Heposem Tablet: Helps to regulate and enhance liver function. The tablet, fortified with antioxidants, improves appetite and digestion.
Heposem Syrup: This is a substitute for Heposem tablets and is one of the best medicine to heal a fatty liver.
Bhringrajasava: Formulated with natural ingredients, the medicine helps to maintain good metabolism. It also possesses restorative properties and easily manages a fatty liver.
Triphala: A blend of three fruits as Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki promotes good liver health as all three have a high antioxidant content. Thus, Triphala can easily detoxify the liver.
Shankhapushpi: Helps prevent fat accumulation in the liver. It is also said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Guggulu: It is said to reduce oxidative stress and liver inflammation. It thus supports the liver’s overall health and improves body metabolism.
Milk Thistle: The compound Silymarin in this plant is protective of the liver and also possesses antioxidant properties.
Dandelion root: A bitter herb not only improves the functioning of the liver but also the gallbladder. This bitter herb detoxifies the liver and is a rich source of many compounds that are beneficial to the liver and also help to prevent oxidative damage.
Burdock root: This is a bitter root used to improve liver function and also the accumulation of fat in the organ.
Foods suggested for liver health
Mr. Ajth Kumar, consultant of Ayurveda suggests foods such as horse gram, green gram, barley buttermilk, drum stick, bitter gourd, and methi leaves. Whole grains like brown rice, rye, and oats should be part of your diet if you want your liver to be in good health. Oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids are recommended.
It is best to avoid refined carbohydrates, junk foods, baked goodies, pastries, deep-fried savories, sweets, and red meat if you are suffering from a liver condition. If possible, it is good to avoid dairy products too, explains Mr. Ajith.
Though we have talked about several Ayurvedic medicines and foods that can be taken and avoided in this blog, it is always best to consult an Ayurvedic physician if you have any liver impairment.
The liver can also be called the main factory in the body as it plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. If not treated on time, the condition can progress to severe liver damage, warns Ajith Kumar, Consultant of Ayurveda, Singapore.