How to Naturally Reverse the State of a Fatty Liver

Written by Dr. Melissa Gallagher, Naturopathic Physician

Reading Time: 6 minutes


 

Video Transcript:

Today’s question comes from Jan S. Jan asks, “I was told I have a fatty liver. Can anything be done other than dietary changes? Are there vitamins or minerals that would specifically help? Also, I read that vitamins are not absorbed if you have a fatty liver. Is that true?”

NAFLD – Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver

Well, thank you, Jan, for sending in this message. I’m really excited to answer all of your questions and to describe a little bit more about the situation of what we consider or label as NAFLD, that is, non-alcoholic fatty liver. That particular disease profile actually involves anywhere from 20% to 40% of our population, men and women.

Common Impacts of Fatty Liver

There are a lot of folks that have excess of fat within their liver. Let me first address that one question about lack of absorption of vitamins. That is not true. You can still absorb nutrients from your food and supplementation, but your liver does play a role in your overall digestive health, particularly the movement and flushing of bile from the liver.

When we have a fatty liver, the functionality of the liver decreases, and so it becomes a dysfunctional state where we will see lab values change. We might see really high elevations in cholesterol, elevations in triglycerides. Liver enzymes might be elevated mildly or moderately.

Then, also, we will see other lab values – there’s an influence on our ability to process and synthesize vitamin D, so your D3 levels will often be low. And the hormones that are produced by the liver that correspond to the thyroid state – T3, T4, sometimes the reverse of T3 – will be imbalanced. It’s not uncommon for folks to present with thyroid imbalances because of a fatty liver.

Control Cortisol & Insulin Levels to Reverse a Fatty Liver

I want to zero in on the source because that’s really where we can help support the liver and we can actually turn around and reverse the state of a fatty liver.

The most common source, when it’s non-alcoholic, is going to be elevations of cortisol. That’s the stress hormone that your body produces in response to an assorted amount of stressors. These could be environmental stressors. They could be biochemical. They could be physiological stressors. They could be mental. They could be everyday stressors that we experience with work or family.

So, there’s an assortment of reasons why cortisol is elevated, and that becomes really critical to start to evaluate. Zero in and test your cortisol. Saliva is the best form of testing. Then start controlling your cortisol through assorted supplementation.

The other source here is going to be corresponding to when our cortisol is high, the body actually produces elevations in insulin. Blood sugar, pre-diabetes, and diabetes can greatly influence the state of insulin that ends up getting absorbed and stored in your liver. Your liver ultimately becomes the storage center. I tell a lot of my patients it’s like the container store. And if you have free-floating cortisol or free-floating insulin, and the liver is your blood filter it’s going to pull that out and then store it in the cells of the liver. That’s what ends up turning into fatty liver. So, we need to clear up the amount of cortisol and insulin that is in excess.

As far as insulin, there are a lot of different ways to control insulin. The most important is controlling cortisol. It doesn’t matter what amount of vitamins or minerals you take. If you’re not controlling cortisol, you’re always going to have this natural body response where cortisol goes high, insulin goes high. That’s a part of our stress response mechanism and no way of thinking ourselves out of it, going to therapy, or taking supplementation will alter that.

But you can do things like doing more keto, dietary changes, where you go low carb, so you have better control of your insulin. Sometimes doing a 24- or a 48-hour fast to help manage and lower our resistance to insulin and glucose. That can help balance that sensitivity of the body, so we have less insulin, less glucose, less blood sugar floating in our blood system and actually being absorbed by the cells and being utilized properly.

Avoid Toxic Chemicals

And then the other big offenders are going to be an assortment of chemicals. These can be pharmaceuticals. They can be from radiation or chemotherapy. It can be food. If you’re not eating organic food, or food that is very dense with pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. I’d recommend checking out the Dirty Dozen[1]. It’s a list by the EWG[2]. And they’re really great in highlighting some of the worst offenders of fruits and veggies that are going to be highly absorbing or absorbable of the really harmful chemicals that we need to avoid, grapes being the number one. Grapes and blueberries. You always want to make sure you’re eating those organic.

And then also check your water. A lot of folks are getting a lot of chemicals and even statin drugs and birth control medication is being found in water sources. And then also assess your everyday use items in your household. Make sure you’re not inhaling a lot of toxic fumes, not putting on chemicals, phthalates, fragrances, sulfates in your hair care, skin care, makeup care, all your daily care routines.

Fatty Liver Preventive Measures & Healing

I also want to share with you some ways to be preventive. One of the most impactful things you can do for your liver is to drink dandelion tea every day and add milk thistle. This it’s a liquid. I like the liquid droppers of milk thistle. This way, you can add that to your dandelion tea, but those two are highly beneficial in supporting the functionality of your liver.

There’s also research that shows certain B vitamins can be helpful in both prevention and reversal of the fatty liver. Part of that is stress management. So, things that are going to lower your stress levels like adaptogenic herbs, like Rhodiola and Tulsi, and even reaching for the 7M+ here at Organixx where we have the functional mushrooms that help lower stress levels are going to be beneficial.

The other thing that I recommend for a lot of my patients is to reach for glutathione, but not in a capsule or not in an IV form. The best form is topical. And I actually provide a lot of patients topical cream in my clinical practice. And if you are interested in that, I’d recommend you check out my website to grab a specific glutathione cream[3] that you can apply on your skin. Your liver will utilize that glutathione and actually help support the antioxidant levels and helps heal the fatty liver.

And then my last and final recommendation, I’ve done a lot of video on this on my YouTube channel. I recommend castor oil packs for your liver[4]. That is a fantastic way to promote the lymphatic flow of your liver and also support the cellular turnover of the liver. You’re going to notice big, big changes.

The Liver is an Emotional Body

And, also, what I recommend is just resolve any angst or anger that you’re feeling. The liver is an emotional body, and it tends to be the emotional body of anger. And it’s a fiery furnace. So, if you feel like you’re kind of grrr, on edge, or fiery, then I recommend really tapping into identifying the source, journaling why you might be feeling angsty or upset or frustrated or angry. Those are all liver terms and emotions and feelings that correspond to the liver. And, also, yoga. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing are highly beneficial.

I hope that is helpful, Jan. I look forward to hearing how these resources and tips work out for you. And if you have any other questions about liver health, let us know.


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Dr. Melissa Gallagher, Naturopathic Physician
Dr. Melissa Gallagher, Naturopathic Physician, holds a Masters in Holistic Nutrition and a Doctorate of Naturopathy. In addition to providing expert guidance to Organixx, Dr. Melissa maintains a busy private practice in Texas. Her primary focus is working with individuals addressing digestive disorders, hormone balance, detoxification therapies, and primary and secondary lymphedema cases through lymphatic decongestive treatments.

Comments

    • Hi Kelcey, thanks for your question. We're sorry about that.

      We are happy to provide you with a link to Ask the Doc https://organixx.com/dr-m-bio/#dr-m-ask/. Here we have provided special access for you to submit any questions you may have for Dr. Melissa Gallagher.

      Due to the number of entries we receive, we cannot guarantee your specific question will be selected to be answered. However, we will be providing frequent video responses from Dr. Melissa to respond to the many inquiries and topics that are important to so many of us. Please be on the lookout for emails that will announce when we release a new video from Dr. Melissa.

      Thanks so much. Wishing you a wonderful day!

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