Fatty liver is a condition that occurs when too much fat builds up in the liver cells. It can lead to the liver becoming enlarged and inflamed. In severe cases, fatty liver can lead to liver cirrhosis and failure. Luckily, fatty liver is reversible.
One of the most unique qualities of the liver is that it can heal and regenerate after damage or injury.
You may even wholly reverse fatty liver with early diagnosis and timely treatment. However, the type of fatty liver you’re suffering from can determine how long it may take to reverse the disease.
There are two types of fatty liver conditions, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that show different healing timelines and treatment protocols.
Overview of Fatty Liver Disease
Most people with a fatty liver are unaware of their liver problem due to the vague and non-specific symptoms, especially during the early stages. Therefore, determining the type and underlying cause of your fatty liver disease is the first step in the reversal process.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ALD)
As the name suggests, chronic alcohol consumption or alcohol abuse leads to alcoholic fatty liver disease. This is because an enzyme produced by the liver breaks down alcohol.
In addition, long-term alcohol causes extensive inflammation and impairs the liver’s ability to function normally.
ALD can cause nausea, vomiting, weight loss, jaundice, abdominal discomfort, and alcoholic cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the formation of scar tissue, which ultimately results in liver failure that can be fatal. A person has a higher chance of recovery if they refrain from drinking alcohol.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
A more comprehensive range of factors, like fatty buildup from a poor diet, inactivity, genetic susceptibility, or health disorders connected to metabolic syndrome like obesity and type 2 diabetes, can contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It can be challenging to reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease since there are many potential reasons, with no one more or less relevant than the others. However, patients with NAFLD must reduce their body weight enhance their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
The most extreme variation of NAFLD is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. Like alcoholic fatty liver disease, NASH increases the risk of fatality by exposing one to cardiovascular diseases and develops into fibrosis (liver tissue scarring), cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.
How Long Does It Take to Reverse Fatty Liver Disease?
How long it takes for a compromised liver to return to normal depends on your condition, diet, adherence to treatment, age, and genetics.
However, on an average, it is possible to reverse fatty liver in as little as six weeks. Sometimes, an otherwise healthy person can attain a complete reversal of fatty liver in under two months.
Alcoholic hepatitis progressed from alcoholic fatty liver disease is reversible, if you stop drinking alcohol permanently. The recovery period will depend on the severity of your alcohol dependence.
It will take at least six months of alcohol abstinence to recover. Sometimes, a liver transplant is necessary to reverse or treat the disease effectively.
In other cases, anti-inflammatory medications, and cholesterol lowering medication can help reverse the effects in about nine months to 1 year.
The HealthifyMe Note
The recovery timeline depends on the kind of fatty liver disease you have, the stage, and whether or not you suffer from any other health conditions. An average period of 6 weeks to 2 months is an expected timeframe to recover from fatty liver disease. However, lifelong adherence to particular diet and lifestyle changes may be necessary to prevent relapse. However, ensure to take the advice of a qualified dietitian.
Ways to Reverse Fatty Liver
The fatty liver diet eliminates refined carbohydrates, refined sugar, artificial colours and flavours, saturated and trans fats.
Read more: Fatty Liver Diet – Essential Guidelines to Follow
Instead choose a diet rich in legumes, diet low in carbohydrates made up of foods like fiber rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as fish, nuts, and seeds that consist of omega-3 fatty acids that are anti inflammatory.
Abstaining from consuming alcohol is also crucial in reversing alcohol-induced fatty liver disease.
There are no medicines prescribed particularly to treat NAFLD. However, your doctor may suggest some drugs and supplements based on your medical conditions.
For prevention against hepatitis A and B, which might harm your liver, you might require vaccinations. Additionally your doctor may suggest that you receive an annual flu to avoid infections.
Natural supplements may be better than medicines that increase the burden on the liver when treating fatty liver, but be sure to see your doctor before taking any new supplement. You can take amino acids, turmeric, milk thistle, and vitamin E.
Studies show that stress worsens inflammation in the body resulting in adverse effects of fatty liver. Rest involves obtaining regular, high-quality sleep and prioritising stress-relieving activities, such as yoga in the morning, watching movies with friends or doing fun things with your kids on the weekends.
Taking charge of your schedule to make time for relaxing activities can help lessen inflammation in the body just as much as taking supplements or medications.
The HealthifyMe Note
Fatty liver disease both alcoholic and non alcoholic are on the rise and can have severe health impact especially in young adults. If not treated promptly, it can lead to liver failure The liver has a unique ability to heal and regenerate. Along with abstinence from alcohol, a balanced diet and exercise, many cases of fatty liver can be completely reversed.
For those who are overweight or consume alcohol it is prudent to get your liver checked regularly as early symptoms are very vague. Early treatment and management are key to reversing fatty liver.
Reversing fatty liver disease before it results in chronic and irreparable liver damage could prevent fatal health events.
Maintaining a healthy liver is crucial even if you do not currently experience issues with liver function. A healthier lifestyle will minimize risk of fatty liver in the future and improve general well being and promote good health. general well-being. In addition, it may minimise the risk of developing fatty liver and other obesity-related diseases.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to share knowledge and spread awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice by professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the symptoms of fatty liver?
A. In the early stages, fatty liver has no symptoms or very vague symptoms. As it progresses one may have weight loss, nausea, abdominal swelling, enlarged spleen, jaundice. Fatty liver has very little to no external signs. Though some symptoms may include abdominal swelling, enlarged spleen, jaundice etc.
Q. How does one manage Fatty Liver?
A. It takes around 4 weeks to 2 months for a person to recover from the condition and the best way to reduce fatty liver would be a well balanced diet, giving up alcohol, exercising regularly and losing weight.
Q. Can fatty liver get completely cured?
Yes, the liver has the amazing ability to restore itself and fatty liver can be completely cured depending on the severity of the condition with the help of a balanced diet and exercise.
Q. Are there many types of fatty liver disease?
Yes, there are two types of fatty liver disease, Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ALD) and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). While ALD is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, NAFLD can be due to a number of reasons like genetics, poor diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes etc.
Q. What foods to avoid if you have fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is a serious condition, which can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer. Avoid refined grains, refined sugar, alcohol, red meat, processed and fried foods
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The entire review process entails levels of screening and evaluation by efficient groups of writers, editors and accredited medical experts. With the aim to establish long-lasting healthy lifestyle habits, we are committed to writing concurrent, medically backed and evidence-based articles. Read more
Our Editorial Team
Author By: Farha Akhram,
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Poonam Sharma,
Last Reviewed By: Sumta Thomas
Date: April 11, 2023
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In April this year, with advice from friends, I took ibrofrun/paracetamol for 2 weeks daily, its done damage like taking alcohol, how long will it take to recover, I was being sick and couldn’t eat big meals, I am taking pure olive oil combined with lemon juice/pinch of paprika, just short term 5 days to help with my liver, I do not drink alcohol, and I am 81, and healthy otherwise.
Olive oil may alleviate the severity of fatty liver independent of correcting cardiometabolic risk factors, however, it must be consumed within limits and added in meals against taking it along with lemon/paprika. A low-carb high-fiber diet may start the recovery by around 2 months of strictly following the diet and exercise.