Fatty Liver Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala
Dr.Amrita Mohan B.A.M.S
Fatty Liver Disease ( FLD ) is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in your liver. It is also known as Hepatic Steatosis. Excess alcohol intake, Viral Treatment and Drug Treatment can make you more likely to get fatty liver disease.
Types of Fatty Liver
There are mainly two types :
- Non- Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
It is mainly caused by obesity and diabetes rather than intake of excess alcohol. there are mainly two forms :
- a) Simple Fatty Liver
- b) Non-Alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
a)Simple Fatty Liver:
Most people with NAFLD have simple fatty liver. In this condition, you will accumulate fat in the liver, but there will be no inflammation or damage to the liver cells.
- b) Non-Alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) :
NASH means you have inflammation in your liver. The inflammation and liver cell damage that happen with NASH can cause serious problems such as fibrosis and cirrhosis, which are types of liver scarring and liver cancer. These problems can lead to liver failure and require a liver transplant. About 20% of people with NAFLD have NASH.
- Alcohol-related fatty liver disease (ALD)
This type is less common which is caused by drinking alcohol. For this reason, it usually gets better when you stop drinking alcohol. If you keep drinking, ALD can cause serious problems. These include:
- Enlarged liver. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but you may have pain or discomfort on the upper right side of your belly.
- Alcoholic hepatitis. This is swelling in the liver that can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, belly pain, and jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes).
- Alcoholic cirrhosis. This is a buildup of scar tissue in your liver. It can cause the same symptoms as alcoholic hepatitis .
Other Symptoms include :
- Large amounts of fluid buildup in your belly (the doctor will call it ascites)
- High blood pressure in the liver
- Bleeding in your body
- Confusion and changes in behavior
- Enlarged spleen (a small organ inside your rib cage that’s part of your immune system)
- Liver failure, which can be fatal
- Alcohol-related fatty liver disease can get worse and become alcoholic hepatitis.
Fatty Liver Disease Symptoms
With ALD and NAFLD, there are usually no symptoms. Some people may have signs such as tiredness or pain in the upper right side of the belly where your liver is.
Some of the Symptoms include :
- Fatigue: Persistent fatigue and a general feeling of tiredness are common symptoms of fatty liver. The liver’s impaired function can affect energy metabolism and lead to increased fatigue.
- Abdominal Discomfort: Some individuals with fatty liver may experience discomfort or pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. This can be a result of liver inflammation or enlargement.
- Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite: In some cases, fatty liver can lead to unintentional weight loss or a decreased appetite. This may be due to liver inflammation or changes in metabolism.
- Weakness: General weakness or a feeling of weakness in the body may be experienced by individuals with fatty liver. This can be attributed to the liver’s compromised ability to store and release energy.
- Jaundice: In rare cases, fatty liver can progress to a condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which involves liver inflammation and damage. Jaundice, characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, can occur in more advanced stages of liver disease.
- Ascites: Ascites refers to the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. It can be a complication of advanced fatty liver disease and is often accompanied by abdominal swelling and discomfort.
- Enlarged Liver: In some cases, the liver may become enlarged, leading to a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the upper right side of the abdomen.
Causes of Fatty Liver
Fatty liver can be caused by various factors, including lifestyle choices, underlying medical conditions, and genetic predisposition. Here are some common causes of fatty liver:
Poor Diet: Consuming a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars can contribute to the development of fatty liver. These unhealthy dietary choices can lead to fat accumulation in the liver.
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Being overweight or obese is strongly associated with fatty liver. Excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, increases the risk of developing fatty liver. Metabolic syndrome, which includes a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance, also increases the likelihood of fatty liver.
Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption is a significant cause of fatty liver. Alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs due to the toxic effects of alcohol on liver cells, leading to fat accumulation and inflammation.
Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes: Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, can lead to the development of fatty liver. It often occurs in individuals with type 2 diabetes or metabolic disorders.
Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, methotrexate, tamoxifen, and antiretroviral drugs used in HIV treatment, can contribute to the development of fatty liver.
Rapid Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss or crash dieting can trigger the accumulation of fat in the liver. This is known as acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP) in pregnant women or as starvation-induced fatty liver.
Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop fatty liver. Certain genetic mutations can affect how the body processes fats and contribute to fat accumulation in the liver.
Other Medical Conditions: Fatty liver can also occur as a result of other medical conditions such as hepatitis C, Wilson’s disease (a genetic disorder affecting copper metabolism), and certain inherited metabolic disorders.
What Causes Fatty Liver According To Ayurveda?
In Ayurveda, fatty liver is understood as a disorder related to the imbalance of the Pitta and Kapha doshas. According to Ayurvedic principles, an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, and improper digestion contribute to the accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body. These toxins, combined with aggravated Pitta and Kapha doshas, can lead to the development of fatty liver. Ayurvedic treatment for fatty liver focuses on balancing and pacifying Pitta and Kapha doshas, improving digestion, and detoxifying the liver.
Causative Factors for fatty liver according to Ayurveda:
The causative factors leading to fatty liver are the consumption of plenty of milk and dairy products with excessive spices like chili and no physical exercise with a sedentary lifestyle. Even your afternoon naps can definitely contribute to this. Kapha predominant Prakriti or kapha pitta predominant Prakriti people can get this easily.
Recommended Yoga Poses for Fatty Liver
While yoga alone may not be a cure for fatty liver disease, it can be a beneficial complement to a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise. Yoga can help improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being. Here are some yoga poses that may be beneficial for individuals with fatty liver disease:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana): This pose helps improve posture and alignment, promoting better liver function.
Twisting Poses (e.g., Bharadvajasana): Twisting poses can stimulate the abdominal organs, including the liver. Always perform twists with awareness and avoid over-twisting.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): This pose can help stretch the spine and stimulate the liver.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): This pose can help strengthen the back muscles and improve blood circulation to the abdominal organs.
Child’s Pose (Balasana): This relaxing pose can help reduce stress and may be beneficial for overall liver health.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Cobra pose can help strengthen the back muscles and stimulate abdominal organs.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This inversion pose can help improve blood circulation and may positively affect the liver.
Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This dynamic flow between cat and cow poses can help massage the abdominal organs and improve spinal flexibility.
Warrior Poses (Virabhadrasana I and II): These poses can help strengthen the legs and open the chest, promoting better overall circulation.
Corpse Pose (Savasana): This final relaxation pose can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.
Additionally, yoga should be practised mindfully, and individuals should listen to their bodies, avoiding poses that cause discomfort or pain. Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial components of managing fatty liver disease.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes for Fatty Liver Ayurvedic Treatment
A healthy diet plays a crucial role in managing fatty liver. The goal is to reduce fat accumulation in the liver, support liver health, and promote overall well-being. Here are some dietary guidelines for individuals with fatty liver:
Reduce Saturated Fats and Trans Fats: Limit the intake of foods high in saturated fats and trans fats. These include fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, processed snacks, and commercially baked goods. Opt for lean protein sources and choose healthier cooking methods like grilling, baking, or steaming.
Emphasize Plant-Based Foods: Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. These foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients that support liver health and help in managing fatty liver. Aim for a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to obtain a range of beneficial compounds.
Choose Healthy Fats: Include healthy fats in your diet, such as those found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These fats are beneficial for heart health and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Increase Fiber Intake: Fiber-rich foods help in digestion, promote satiety, and support a healthy weight. Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread, as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
Limit Added Sugars and Refined Carbohydrates: Minimize the consumption of sugary beverages, sweets, pastries, and refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice. These foods can contribute to weight gain and worsen fatty liver.
Include Lean Proteins: Choose lean sources of protein such as skinless poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. These provide essential amino acids without the added saturated fat.
Stay Hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to support overall hydration and assist in flushing out toxins from the body.
Fatty Liver Ayurvedic Treatment: Prevention
Understanding the risk factors is crucial for prevention. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are common risk factors for fatty liver disease. Genetics, rapid weight loss, and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute.
1) Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Obesity is a significant risk factor for fatty liver disease. Adopting a balanced diet and regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of fat accumulation in the liver.
Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit the intake of added sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods. Consider consulting with a nutritionist to create a personalised diet plan.
Physical activity is crucial for preventing and managing fatty liver disease. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, including activities like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
4)Limit Alcohol Consumption:
If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Excessive alcohol intake is a leading cause of AFLD, which can progress to more severe liver conditions.
5)Manage Chronic Conditions:
Effectively manage conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups.
6)Avoid Rapid Weight Loss:
Gradual and sustainable weight loss is recommended to prevent the release of stored fat into the liver. Crash diets and extreme weight loss measures can exacerbate fatty liver disease.
Proper hydration is essential for overall health, including liver function. Drink an adequate amount of water daily to support the liver’s detoxification processes.
Fatty Liver Ayurvedic Treatment
According to Ayurveda , Fatty Liver Treatment and Managment can be done mainly in two ways :
- SAMANA CHIKITSA
- SODHANA CHIKITSA
SAMANA CHIKISTA (CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT)
After analysing the body constitution and medical conditions, ayurvedic formulations like kashaya(decoction), churna(medicated powder), gulika ( tablets)and ghritha( medicated ghee) are given.
- Kashaya (Decoction):
Preparation of a decoction by boiling coarse powder or dried drugs.
This may include herbs known for their detoxifying or liver-protective properties.
- Gulika (Tablets):
Tablets are made by rolling medicinal pastes into balls and drying them using a drier.
The tablets likely contain a combination of herbs beneficial for liver health.
- Choornam (Powder):
Grinding and filtering dried drugs to create a powder.
The powder may consist of herbs traditionally used for liver disorders, following the principles of Vatavyadi Chikitsa.
- Ghrita (Medicated Ghee):
Processing ghee with herbs is suitable for the treatment of fatty liver.
Medicated ghee is used for its therapeutic effects on the liver.
SODHANA CHIKITSA( PURIFICATION THERAPY)
Ayurvedic treatment for fatty liver involves a holistic approach, focusing on lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and herbal formulations along
with panchakarma therapies. These include :
1.Deepanam and Pachnam (Improving digestive power)
2.Snehanam (Oil administration)
3.Swedanam ( Perspiration )
- Deepanam and Pachnam (Improving Digestive Power):
Measures to enhance digestive power, as compromised digestion is often associated with liver disorders.
- Snehanam (Oil Administration):
Administration of medicated oils to improve lubrication and nourishment of tissues.
- Swedanam (Perspiration):
Inducing perspiration to eliminate toxins through the skin.
- Virechanam (Purgation):
Purgative therapies to cleanse the digestive system and eliminate accumulated toxins.
- Basti (Enema):
Enema treatments to cleanse and rejuvenate the colon, often using herbal decoctions or oils.
Fatty Liver Ayurvedic Treatment at Dheemahi Ayurveda
Dheemahi Ayurveda prioritizes patient health and wellness through a team of expert doctors and a commitment to traditional Ayurvedic practices. Regular consultations, routine follow-up check-ups, and the supervision of doctors during therapies are crucial aspects of holistic healthcare, especially for chronic diseases. The emphasis on the mind’s role in achieving a healthy life is also commendable, recognising the interconnectedness of mental and physical well-being.
By combining the knowledge of the past five generations with contemporary healthcare practices, Dheemahi Ayurveda offers a comprehensive and personalised approach to patient care. The documentation of treatment schedules further ensures transparency and accountability in the healthcare process. Dheemahi Ayurveda is dedicated to providing authentic and effective Ayurvedic treatments while considering the unique needs of each patient.
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