A word from Amy Neilson, local fitness and nutrition coach

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Fatty liver disease an increasing problem

Fatty liver disease.

Specifically, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Not the sexiest topic but it could be affecting up to 30% of us, which I thought was pretty alarming.

Thinking alcohol is the bad guy here?

Nope.

It’s that nasty white powder that is hidden in so much of our food these days.

Sugar is rapidly becoming synonymous with poison in the literature, when it comes to our liver health.

So, fatty liver disease.

Have you heard of it?

Have you got it?

If statistics are accurate, one in three of you reading this might have it and not even know.

The top line causes of fatty liver disease are obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Research from the University of Otago Edgar Diabetes & Obesity Research shows some worrying trends from as far back as 2009.

Obesity dramatically increased in New Zealand between 1997 and 2008-09, from 17% to 27.7% in males and from 20.6% to 27.8% in females.

Being obese or overweight is the main precursor in the development of a fatty liver.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease now affects up to 30% of adults in Western countries.

They reckon this could be as high as 50% by 2030.

More intrinsically, excess sugar consumption is very closely linked to the development of fatty liver disease.

And it’s no walk in the park.

The liver is the second largest organ in the body.

If it’s not happy, you’ll feel it swollen abdomen and ankles, to name just a couple of the plethora of symptoms.

The only known cure as it stands is to address the lifestyle factors causing the disease in the first place.

The good news is that fatty liver disease is 100% reversible.

The liver is an incredible organ that can repair itself if you let it.

Make efforts to eat well, lose weight, exercise regularly, cut out processed food and follow a Mediterranean style of eating.

Let me know if you have any questions at all, and it could be worth asking your doctor if you’re concerned.