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Breastfeeding organ: This is why fat damages the liver
According to health experts, around ten million Germans have elevated liver values. This also increases the risk of developing liver disease in the course of life. These diseases are often severe and therefore life-threatening. Most liver damage today is no longer caused by high alcohol consumption, but by being overweight.
A third of Germans have fatty liver
More than a third of Germans suffer from fatty liver. However, many do not know about it at first because the liver suffers dangerously quietly. Because the disease of the organ usually remains undetected for a long time, chronic liver inflammation can develop unnoticed due to fatty liver or hepatitis infection, which can result in liver cirrhosis or even liver cancer after many years. It is all the more important to prevent.
Belly fat is considered to be particularly dangerous
While obesity was previously mainly attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and diabetes are now the main risk factors, reports the magazine "Apotheken Umschau" on its website. Damage to the organ is also promoted by infections such as hepatitis C and some medications.
Belly fat is considered to be particularly dangerous, as it increases the risk of developing metabolic disorders and high blood pressure. If men have a waist circumference of 102 centimeters, excess weight can be dangerous. For women, 88 centimeters are the limit.
"On the other hand, the fat pads on the legs, hips and buttocks even have a certain protective function," explained Professor Norbert Stefan from the Chair for Clinical Experimental Diabetology at the University Hospital Tübingen in the "Apotheken Umschau". The subcutaneous fatty tissue pulls free fatty acids out of the blood like a sponge and thus protects the vessels from deposits.
Pay special attention to nutrition
As a rule, it is genetically determined at which points unnecessary pounds are noticeable. But you can really react to it: "Anyone who tends to have a stomach attachment should pay special attention to their diet," said Professor Michael Manns, director of the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology at the Hannover Medical School.
A high-calorie, high-fat and high-sugar diet can obviously affect the liver as well as larger amounts of alcohol. According to a scientific study, fasting can break down fatty liver in a timely manner.
The liver suffers silently
"The fatty liver is a multi-system disease that affects the entire metabolism," says Manns, according to the magazine. "Above all, it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes." Conversely, existing diabetes promotes fat deposits in the liver. "Up to 90 percent of the very overweight and almost 70 percent of type 2 diabetics have fatty liver," said the expert.
But the liver suffers dumb and only when the organ is greatly enlarged do symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen, fatigue and loss of appetite appear. If the fatty tissue becomes inflamed, it becomes dangerous: "Up to 30 percent of those affected develop non-alcoholic fatty liver hepatitis, which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer," says Stefan.
Liver values were not increased in all patients
Although a pathological liver can sometimes be recognized by the liver values, these "are only increased in every second affected person," said Stefan.
At the time of diagnosis, the sugar and fat metabolism is often disrupted. "If the doctor detects fatty liver, he must always keep an eye on the patient's blood pressure, blood sugar level and blood lipid levels," explained Manns.
Professor Stefan explained: "Fat deposits in the liver increase the blood sugar level, so that the pancreas can no longer keep up with the formation of the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin." In addition, a fatty liver promotes deposits in the vessels.
Reduce weight by at least five percent
If the triggers of obesity are eliminated and avoided, the liver tissue can regenerate if diagnosed early. For patients, this means a consequent change in lifestyle.
"We recommend overweight people to reduce their weight by five to ten percent," explained Manns. He recommends a wholesome, calorie-reduced diet instead of radical fasting cures. Physical activity is also important. "We recommend moderate endurance training at least 30 minutes three times a week," says Manns.
Search for suitable medication
However, a healthier lifestyle is not enough for some patients. Active substances are tested again and again, "but no one has so far passed the approval hurdle," said Stefan.
"But even if drug therapy should eventually prevail, it only makes sense together with a lifestyle change," said Stefan. “If you drink too much alcohol and eat the wrong food, you don't need any chemicals with side effects. This is where nutritional changes and abstinence help. ”(Ad)